On the night of the long-awaited world premiere of Avengers: Endgame, Class A Peoria's own "Iron Man" turned in a performance worthy of critical acclaim.
Tommy Parsons allowed two hits and three walks while striking out six in the Chiefs' 2-0 victory over the Quad Cities River Bandits at Dozer Park on Monday.
Video: Peoria's Parsons completes nine-inning gem
The outing marked the right-handed St. Louis prospect's third straight start of at least eight innings. And while this dominant and durable stretch has been befitting of a Marvel superhero, Parsons' teammates have taken a bit of a different approach to hyping up their ace.
"A few of them have actually started calling me Picasso," he said. "Really painting and everything."
Whether he's an artist or a masked vigilante, Parsons has been nothing short of marvelous. Across a three-game span, he's given up just one run on 10 hits and three walks across 25 frames. He didn't make it quite as far in his season debut, allowing one hit and two walks in a scoreless five-inning showing on Opening Night.
In the third inning Monday, Parsons gave up back-to-back doubles to Andy Pineda and Trey Dawson. He avoided allowing a run because right fielder Lars Nootbaar hit cutoff man Brendan Donovan, who threw out Pineda at third.
Gameday box score
The 23-year-old was sharp the rest of the way, facing the minimum in every subsequent inning until the ninth. With two outs in the final frame, he struck out Jeremy Pena, but the Astros No. 27 prospect took first on a wild pitch. Then he walked Enmanuel Valdez and threw another wild pitch, putting runners on second and third and his shutout in jeopardy. Parsons wasn't worried, though.
"I've always had a saying that my dad started when I was young and it's kind of stuck with me," he said. "It's like bearing down, just not letting anything get in my head and just kind of keep going no matter what happens. So I just tried to bear down and get the next guy out. When that didn't happen, it was bear down and get the next guy out."
There was no twist ending as Parsons got Marty Costes to ground out to second to end the contest.
2019 MiLB include
The complete game was the second in the career of the Columbus, Ohio, native. Parsons scattered four hits and one walk over seven innings for Rookie Advanced Johnson City in a shutout of Elizabethton on last Aug. 19. He finished his inaugural campaign with a 5-1 record and a 3.00 ERA across 57 innings.
Four games into the new season, Parsons sports an Ant-Man-sized 0.30 ERA and an opponent's batting average of .109. But he doesn't take credit for all of his success. Much like Hollywood Iron Man needs help from the rest of the Avengers, Parsons has utilized the efforts of his teammates to power his blockbuster start.
"A lot of it just goes to me and [St. Louis' No. 18 prospect Ivan Herrera], the catcher, being on the same page," he said. "Cale (Johnson), our pitching coach, has been working with me a lot about just getting stuff figured out still and getting some velo and everything. And my defense has played great behind me, the offense is putting up big numbers which is nice."