There won't be a bad taste in Matt Flemer's mouth over the offseason.
In Class A Advanced Modesto's final game of the year, the Colorado prospect allowed four hits over nine innings en route to an 8-0 win over visiting Stockton. He rang up a season-high nine strikeouts without issuing a single walk in the first shutout of his career.
"It's always nice to leave with a win," Flemer said. "The complete game and the shutout were just the icing on the cake. Everybody wants their last game to be a good one so they can have good thoughts going into the offseason."
The 2012 27th-round pick ended the year with four straight quality starts. Across 32 innings in that span, he surrendered six runs and 17 hits while fanning 30 and walking two for a 3-1 record and 1.69 ERA.
"I was kind of making slight adjustments in between starts, just kind of working on mechanics here and there with our pitching coach, Dave Burba," Flemer said. "I finally felt like I was getting things to click, and I was starting to see the results.
"My last four outings, I really felt like I was on my game and back to pitching the way I know how to pitch."
The 23-year-old ended 2014 with a 13-10 record and 4.53 ERA over 28 games, 27 of which were starts. He was second in the California League in wins while ranking third in strikeouts (130) and innings pitched (165) and fifth in WHIP (1.30). Additionally, his 2.02 walks per nine innings landed him fourth.
The UCLA product yielded line-drive singles to Boog Powell and Matt Olson -- Oakland's No. 2 prospect -- in the first inning, a bunt single to Bobby Crocker in the fifth and another infield single to Powell in the ninth. Against 31 batters, the California native induced six flyouts and three groundouts.
"I was able to locate my fastball pretty well today and really go with that," Flemer said. "When you've got a well-located fastball working for you, it opens up the door for a lot of other things too. So once I kind of got the fastball working to both sides of the plate, I was really kind of on the attack for the rest of the day."
It didn't hurt that the Nuts lineup started producing early, scoring five runs in the second, two in the third and one more in the fourth. The second included a three-run double by Michael Ramirez and Juan Ciriaco's run-scoring triple.
"The way our offense was able to get out to a 7-0 lead after three, it kind of allowed me to do what I do best and that's throw strikes," Flemer said. "I was working the ball down in the zone. Stockton's got a great hitting team, so you've got to make sure you're making good pitches. The defense played great behind me, and fortunately, we were able to keep throwing up zeros."
On the other side, Ports starter Dylan Covey (3-5) was charged with seven runs and eight hits over three innings.