Last night against the Brevard County Manatees, the Clearwater Threshers ace left-hander Hoby Milner retired the first 13 batters he faced. A long ball in the top of the fifth with one out broke up Hoby’ s attempt at perfection. He went on to pitch seven strong inning giving up only that run and two hits in the 4-1 Threshers win. Milner has been strong in May and is right now the most consistent starter in the Phillies minor league system. He is my selection for the Phillies minor league pitcher of the month
Going back over Hoby’s last eight starts including his last two in April, he has gone 5-0 striking out 47 in 48 innings for a 2.06 ERA. In his six starts in May he is 3-0 striking out 37 in 37 inning for a 2.19 ERA. What has impressed me the most is his consistency over these last eight starts. He did not give up more than three earned runs in any of these eight outings.
Last night’s game was one of the best played by the Threshers all season in a successful battle to tie the Manatees for second place in the FSL Northern Division. Carlos Alonso who is a “magician” at second base went far to his right side to field a ground ball and throw out a runner at first to get things started in the first. Carlos then worked a walk in the third and scored on what turned out to be the winning run on a Kelly Dugan home run into the wind to right.
I continue to be amazed by Maikel Franco’s defensive play at third as he pick up several hard ground balls at the hot corner to help preserve the win. Both Franco and Alonso have yet to be charged with an error after the first two months of the season. Simply Amazing!
Without a doubt good pitching, great defense and timely hitting with runners on base is a simple but a guaranteed recipe for winning. The Threshers played as close to a perfect game in all facets last night that I have seen this season at Bright House. Certainly, the two top guys in the Phillies minor league department, Joe Jordan and Steve Noworyta, who were at the game last night had to be impressed with what they saw.