Barbosa nearly spotless in St. Lucie shutout

Mets southpaw strikes out season-high 11 over seven no-hit innings

By Robert Emrich / MiLB.com | August 30, 2016 1:24 AM

The only thing stopping Andrew Barbosa from achieving history Monday was a pesky little pitch count.

The Mets left-hander tossed seven no-hit innings as Class A Advanced St. Lucie beat host Charlotte, 3-0.

Barbosa notched a season-high 11 strikeouts, falling one short of the career high set on July 10, 2015 while with Double-A Mississippi. The 28-year-old faced one over the minimum, walking Thomas Milone with two outs in the third inning before retiring 13 straight to end his night.

"I just had good fastball command," Barbosa said. "Usually when I command my fastball, my changeup plays off of that. My curveball wasn't there all night, but I got a couple of strikeouts on that. For the most part, it was that fastball command. I was working it in and out and up and down, it made my changeup even more effective."

The Puerto Rico native exited after throwing 51 of 85 pitches for strikes, giving way to Alex Palsha for the final two innings. Barbosa understood why he was taken out of the game after dealing with injury this season.

"I'm still on a pitch count because I'm rehabbing my lat, that's why I'm down here from [Double-A] Binghamton," he said. "They're trying to be careful with me. I told them my arm felt good and I was fine. but they gotta listen to the people upstairs."

Barbosa has made 15 appearances this year between Triple-A Las Vegas, Binghamton, St. Lucie and the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League. Although the University of South Florida product has dealt with other ailments before, the lat injury proved particularly frustrating.

"I had Tommy John back in '11 and shoulder surgery in '08. People always question you because you're vulnerable to get injured again," Barbosa said. "I've never had a problem with my lat, and out of nowhere this year, my lat tightened up. I've missed so many games already. You want to get out there in a hurry, but you don't want to push it because you don't want to have another setback.

"Whatever I can do here and if they send me wherever else, I'm just happy to pitch and get on the mound and do what I can."

Palsha gave up a one-out single to Mac James in the eighth to break up the no-hit bid. The 24-year-old right-hander allowed two hits and a walk while fanning one over the final two frames for his fourth save.

Patrick Biondi plated a pair of runs and Mets' No. 17 prospect Jhoan Urena added an RBI for St. Lucie.

Stone Crabs starter Mike Franco fell to 7-5 after giving up three unearned runs on three hits and a pair of walks while striking out five over four innings.

Robert Emrich is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @RobertEmrich. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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