Hops' Reed shows class in perfecto bid
As Cody Reed prepared to walk off the field after the seventh inning, his shot at a perfect game having flown into center field on Ian Happ's two-out double, the lefty sought out the Cubs first-rounder for a handshake at second base.
"Just class, man," the D-backs' No. 17 prospect said.
Getting a hit off Reed is becoming an increasingly handshake-worthy feat these days.
It was 20 up and 20 down for Reed, who finished having allowed the lone hit while fanning seven over seven scoreless innings as Class A Short Season Hillsboro blanked Eugene, 2-0, at PK Park.
"The main thing's fastball command," Reed said. "I threw 94 pitches and probably threw 80 fastballs. So just fastball command, and I think I'm finally starting to figure that out a little bit now."
The Alabama native admitted to being a bit disappointed after losing his perfecto bid with two outs in the seventh. However, he was also pleased to have accomplished another, less ambitious goal.
"I was a little disappointed," Reed said. "Kind of mad when it happened, but I gave it up to their best hitter, so that wasn't too awful.
"Coming into this game, my goal was to try to go more than six innings, go seven or eight innings and give my bullpen a little relief. I was thinking about it the whole time. Glad I could do it."
Reed has encountered little resistance in his first year in short-season ball. He sports a 1.31 ERA over 34 1/3 innings in his first six starts with the Hops and has not allowed a run in his last three outings, totaling 19 innings.
"I wasn't really expecting this (success)," said the 2014 second-round pick. "I was just telling myself to go out there and pitch the way I've always pitched, and if it works, it works."
Reed has been especially stingy on the road. In three starts (17 innings), the southpaw has yet to allow an earned run away from home and opponents are batting a miniscule .074 against him. He hasn't been bad at home either, as opponents have hit .212 in three starts there.
"Growing up, I've always been a kind of guy that likes a little bit of pressure when I'm trying to play," Reed explained. "So pitching on the road puts a little more pressure on you than it does when you're pitching at home, and it's a lot more fun when you got people rooting against you."
It wasn't too difficult for the 6-foot-3 245-pounder to rank Friday's start as his best professional outing to date.
"That was my first seven-inning outing, and some of my outings have been good," Reed said. "I've had a few more strikeouts in a couple of my outings, but those outings I didn't go perfect through 6 2/3. I guess some can come close, but I just try to get better every day."
First baseman Josh Anderson put the Hops on the board with a run-scoring single in the first. Designated hitter Trevor Mitsui added two hits and an RBI in the eighth.
Preston Morrison (0-1) allowed a run on four hits and struck out two over two innings for the Emeralds.
Alex Kraft is a contributor to MiLB.com.