Pitchers of the Week07/18/2011 4:50 PM ET
By John Parker / Special to MLB.com
Brian Matusz, Norfolk
0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 2 BB, 8 K
Matusz had taken the loss in his first two starts since rejoining the Tides on July 5, but the rangy left-hander stifled host Gwinnett in his Saturday outing. He faced the minimum through five innings and did not allow a Braves baserunner to reach second. He was unable to notch his first Minor League victory of the season, however, as Gwinnett rallied to win, 4-3, in 11 innings.
Pacific Coast League
Brad Mills, Las Vegas
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 8 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 2 BB, 6 K
After pitching two frames (and taking the loss) as the PCL's starter in the Triple-A All-Star Game on Wednesday, Mills took a no-hitter into the eighth inning of the 51s' 5-0 win over Tucson on Sunday in Fort Wayne, Ind. He issued a two-out walk in the first inning, then retired 19 consecutive batters before yielding a leadoff single in the eighth. The left-hander combined with reliever Winston Abreu on a one-hit shutout.
Michael Ballard, Bowie
1-0, 1.93 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 14 IP, 11 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 2 BB, 6 K
Ballard, a 27-year-old left-hander, improved to 5-0 in eight appearances since joining the Baysox in early June. He did not earn a decision in Bowie's 5-3 11-inning win at Altoona on Monday but notched his fifth win after holding visiting Richmond to one run over eight innings Sunday. In 53 innings with the Baysox, Ballard has fanned 54 and walked three while holding Eastern League hitters to a .201 average.
Brandon Kloess, Birmingham
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 0 GS, 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 1 HBP, 1 BB, 2 K
The 26-year-old Kloess has pitched and produced strong numbers at three levels this season, but perhaps none as strong as in his two outings with Birmingham. He held visiting Jacksonville to one hit over five frames Friday to improve to 2-0 with the Barons. In his nine Southern League innings, the right-handed Kloess has allowed one run on four hits while fanning six.
Ross Seaton, Corpus Christi
0-0, 1.50 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 H, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 5 K
Seaton, a former third-round Draft pick, had gone 2-0 in his previous four starts, but none were as impressive as his no-decision against Northwest Arkansas on Wednesday. The right-hander held the visiting Naturals to one run -- a solo homer -- on three hits over six frames. He matched a season high with five strikeouts and did not walk a batter for the first time in 16 starts.
Craig Westcott, San Jose
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 8 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 3 K
Westcott became the first Minor Leaguer to 11 wins on Friday night with a dominant eight-inning performance. Though not an overwhelming strikeout pitcher -- he has 59 Ks in 99 innings -- the right-hander ranks second in the Cal League in ERA at 2.91 and has lost just once in 15 outings this season. In Visalia on Friday, Westcott allowed an unearned run on four hits to improve to 6-0 with a 2.27 ERA on the road.
Marty Popham, Kinston
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 5 2/3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 11 K
Popham, a 6-foot-6 right-hander, worked out of the bullpen earlier this season before joining the K-Tribe's rotation in June. He's been lights-out since then, going 4-0 with a 1.99 ERA and a .194 average against in eight starts. The 23-year-old faced one over the minimum through seven innings against Salem on June 15 and fanned a career-high 11 batters in 5 2/3 scoreless frames as the Indians blanked visiting Winston-Salem, 2-0, on Sunday.
Florida State League
Jose Quintana, Tampa
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 9 K
Quintana began the season in the Yankees bullpen, where he went 4-0 with a 1.85 ERA in 17 outings. Since joining the rotation at the start of the month, the left-hander has been even better, posting a 0.90 ERA and a .171 average against in 20 innings. On Friday he held visiting Palm Beach to three hits over a career-high seven frames while matching a personal high of nine strikeouts. In 54 total innings this season, Quintana has fanned 56 and allowed just one home run.
Blake Hassebrock, Burlington
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 7 K
After suffering his worst outing of the season on July 7 -- he allowed four earned runs on eight hits over five innings against Quad Cities for his third consecutive loss -- Hassebrock rebounded with a gem on Thursday, a day before his 22nd birthday. The right-hander held visiting Fort Wayne to three hits and matched a career-best seven scoreless innings. Hassebrock struck out five and did not walk a batter as the Bees snapped a six-game losing streak.
South Atlantic League
Jesse Biddle, Lakewood
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 2 BB, 8 K
Friday's gem at Greenville was the latest in a series of strong outings for Biddle, who has allowed just three runs on 18 hits while fanning 34 over his last 28 2/3 innings. The southpaw held the Drive, which ranks third in the Sally League in hitting and second in both runs and home runs, to three hits in seven scoreless innings in a 4-0 BlueClaws win. A first-round pick in 2010, the Phillies prospect was born in Philadelphia not quite 20 years ago.
New York-Penn League
Josh Hodges, Jamestown
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 2 BB, 6 K
The 6-foot-7 Hodges is in his third season with the Jammers after the Marlins made him their seventh-round pick in the 2009 Draft. He's been inconsistent in his six starts this season -- he gave up seven runs on 11 hits on June 22, then pitched five one-hit frames on July 2 -- but pitched his best against visiting Hudson Valley on Wednesday, allowing two hits while fanning six over a season-high seven scoreless innings.
Jose Campos, Everett
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 2 BB, 8 K
Campos won't turn 19 until July 27 but pitched with the poise of a veteran against Spokane on Friday, holding the Indians -- the Northwest League's top scoring club -- to two hits while striking out eight over six scoreless innings. In 31 1/3 innings this season, Campos has fanned 29 and walked seven and has yet to allow a home run.
Tim Shibuya, Elizabethton
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 6 K
Shibuya hasn't done much wrong in his month-old professional career -- he's 4-0 with a 2.57 ERA in five starts for the E-Twins. On Saturday he was nearly perfect, pitching seven hitless frames marred only by a pair of catcher's interference calls as Elizabethton completed the Appy League's first no-hitter in almost two years. The Twins' 23rd-round pick out of UC San Diego last month, Shibuya has held Appy League hitters to a .192 average over 28 innings.
Blair Walters, Great Falls
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 10 K
An 11th-round pick out of the University of Hawaii in June, Walters made his first "relief" appearance Sunday in the resumption of the previous night's suspended game against Orem, which leads the Pioneer League in hitting. Taking over in the third inning, the left-hander held the Owlz to a pair of singles while striking out a career-best 10 hitters over seven shutout frames. He did not allow an Orem baserunner to reach second.