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Biddle fans 12, holds Manatees hitless

Phils' No. 2 prospect equals career high over seven innings
August 17, 2012
Jesse Biddle had the kind of night the Phillies probably envisioned when they drafted the 6-foot-4 left-hander in the first round.

Philadelphia's No. 2 prospect tossed seven hitless innings and tied a career high with 12 strikeouts Friday as Class A Advanced Clearwater one-hit Brevard County, 11-0.

Biddle (9-5) walked two batters and faced three over the minimum in his 24th start for the Threshers. He retired his first 11 batters before issuing a two-out free pass to Jason Rogers in the fourth, then fanned four of the last five Manatees he faced.

"My approach wasn't any different than it normally is, just the execution was different," said Biddle, who threw 98 pitches. "I was feeling really good in the bullpen. My stuff felt great. The biggest thing was that I was throwing my fastballs for strikes and getting ahead of guys."

"The curveball was my punchout pitch, I got the majority of my strikeouts on the curve. I used my change in situations where I felt like I needed it."

Biddle, who also struck out 12 on June 3 against Palm Beach, had never faced the Manatees before Friday, a fact he believes played a role in his success.

"I just think that it took them a couple of times through the lineup to get a sense of my arm angle and things like that," he said. "I think it was a little bit of mind games."

Kenneth Giles followed Biddle and worked a 1-2-3 eighth before allowing a one-out single to Nick Shaw in the ninth. The Threshers fell just short of their first no-hitter since Andrew Carpenter pitched a seven-inning gem on Aug. 27, 2007 against Fort Myers.

"I had full faith in my guy, he was pitching great," Biddle said. "It was just one jam shot single. You face so many guys, it's bound to happen."

The 20-year-old southpaw lowered his ERA to 3.26, which ranks fourth in the Florida State League. He's second with 137 strikeouts as he looks to end his third pro season on a high note.

"I think it's just doing what I've been doing," Biddle said. "My coaches have been huge, I'm healthy and I'm feeling good. And I think [those are] the most important things about the season."

Peter Lavin went 3-for-5 with three RBIs, falling a triple shy of the cycle, for Clearwater. Zach Collier also went yard and rehabbing Phillies infielder Placido Polanco had three hits and scored three times.

Robert Emrich is a contributor to