Anthony Kay was nearly hitless in his last start. On Monday, he actually was.The Mets' No. 7 prospect didn't allow a hit over seven frames to lead Double-A Binghamton to a 3-0 win over Bowie at Prince George's Stadium. He struck out seven and walked one.
Anthony Kay was nearly hitless in his last start. On Monday, he actually was.
The Mets' No. 7 prospect didn't allow a hit over seven frames to lead Double-A Binghamton to a 3-0 win over Bowie at Prince George's Stadium. He struck out seven and walked one.
The gem came just six days after Kay hurled a three-hit shutout against Altoona, in which he had one more strikeout and also walked one. In his last three starts, the southpaw has allowed seven hits and struck out 19 over 21 innings.
"It's really fun," Kay said of his hot streak. "It's kind of always what you want to do as a starting pitcher. You want to put together a couple good outings in a row. It's good to be able to do that."
The 24-year-old was in a groove right out of the gate, carrying a perfect game through his first five frames. The lone blemish of the outing for Kay (5-2) came when he dealt a six-pitch walk to Jesmuel Valentín to open up the sixth.
Gameday box score
He still faced the minimum, however, as he got Chris Clare to ground into a double play two batters later to end the frame. The Connecticut product then sat down the Baysox in order in the seventh to close his outing.
While thoughts of his last start may have crept into Kay's mind at some point, he said in order to have a follow-up performance like this, a pitcher must be able to move on from whatever came before -- no matter the outcome.
"Regardless of a good or bad outing, you kind of want to move forward after every outing," he said. "You reflect on it, watch some video on it and then you move on."
Kay sports a 1.07 ERA on the year, the second-best clip in the Eastern League -- 11 points behind Akron's Zach Plesac. He's struck out 52 in 50 2/3 frames, the fourth-best mark in the league. Those performances have led some insiders to believe he soon will depart Binghamton for a spot in the big league rotation, although he's not currently on the Mets' 40-man roster.
Last year, Kay amassed a 4.26 ERA over 23 starts between two levels in his first taste of professional ball. That mark has certainly improved, but his strikeout and walk numbers haven't drastically changed. The difference, according to the 2016 first-round pick, has come from a refined approach.
"Just getting ahead," he said. "I want to attack the hitters and get pitcher's counts rather than getting behind 3-1, 2-1, things like that."
And while Kay has enjoyed his recent successes, he's more proud of the fact he set his team up for victory.
"We were just happy to win," he said. "We have a little streak going right now, good [three-game] winning streak going. It's fun to keep winning and keep the ball rolling."
Righty Matt Blackham gave up a hit to Carlos Pèrez soon after Kay departed, then closed out the game for his third save.
Top Mets prospect Andrés Giménez went 2-for-5 with an RBI. Michael Paez added two hits, driving in the Rumble Ponies' first two runs with his first homer of the year and scoring the third on a single by Gimenez.
Jordan Wolf is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @byjordanwolf.