Andrew Painter strikes out 14 for Single-A Clearwater

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During Andrew Painter Having made a flawless start to his pro career, his performance on Saturday night was only part of the story for Single-A Clearwater.

The Phillies’ No. 3 prospect hit out 14 while conceding one hit and no walks in five innings and relief Malik Binns and Tommy McCollum fanned out four in each of the last four innings for a combined 22 strikeout performance in the Threshers’ 3-0 victory over Tampa. The performance is the most strikeouts by a minor league team since at least 2005 (the major league record is 20).

“It was a hell of a job,” Painter told Clearwater’s Lindsey Settlemire after the game. “It was a group effort. We just piggyback on each other and feed off each other’s energy. Tonight everyone on the field — the hitters and the pitchers — we all brought it out.

The painter’s excursion began quite normally; The 13th overall draft pick of 2021 beat No. 60 MLB candidate Jasson Dominguez to open things up, allowing a double, prompting a flyout and hitting the last batter of the inning on three pitches. What transpired from there, however, was a sight to behold. The 19-year-old hit the side in the second… and then the side again… and again… and again.

Using only his fastball and slider, the right-hander ended his outing by fanning out 13 in a row and touching 99.8 mph on his heater and 86.3 mph on his slider. Of the 70 pitches he threw, 50 were for strikes, and he made 15 swings-and-misses on his fastball and five on his slider.

“Really, you just have to keep going forward and staying ahead and really wrecking the guys,” Painter said of his performance. “Don’t play around. Once you advance [in the count], you gotta go after them and keep it going. You have the momentum and it just keeps going if you stay ahead.”

Painter took that mentality to heart — he only counted three balls all night. His total of 14 strikeouts are with Daniel Espino, Guardians No. 2, and Tanner Gordon, Braves, tied for most in a game this season.

Binns picked up right where Painter left off when he came on in the sixth game. The right-hander beat the first hitter he faced and got Dominguez to finish the inning before hitting two more swinging strikeouts in his second inning of work.

McCollum came on in the eighth, also fanned the first batter he faced and finished the game in style, hitting the side in the ninth to secure the Threshers’ win.

In eighteen total innings from four starts in 2021 and three in 2022, Painter is yet to give up a deserved run. The 6-foot-7 hurler has given up eight hits, three walks and a whopping 42 batters in that span — that’s a career .61 WHIP and a .131 batting average against.

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