It was a high pop just in front of us that was squeezed by catcher Chase Numata to end the sixth inning of Sunday’s Clearwater Threshers game. The Threshers went on to win 4-1 over the Bradenton Marauders.
But it was a special catch for Threshers’ starter Elniery Garcia on his 110th and his final pitch of the game. Watch video of the catch HERE. It set the stage for his sixth win to go 6-2 on the season as he heads to the Florida State League All-Star game, Saturday in Ft. Myers.
Perhaps more importantly for Garcia, the catch enabled him to strand a runner on third to preserved his fourth shutout in his nine starts this season. In those shutouts he has pitched 24 scoreless innings for a 4-0 record allowing 13 hits, walking 10 and striking out 20.
Going into his 6th and last inning of work in yesterday’s game, his earn run average stood at 2.01. After the catch, his ERA fell under two to 1.97. Garcia now has the lowest ERA of any left-handed starting pitcher and the fourth lowest of all starting pitchers in the Florida State League.
Garcia is keeping an eye on Ben Lively to see if he can top him for the lowest ERA of any starter in the Phillies system. Currently his 1.97 ERA trails only Lively’s 1.94 ERA, combined between Reading and Lehigh Valley.
Garcia could not have done it alone in Sunday’s game. He got help from Mitch Walding who hit his ninth homer of the season in the first inning. Watch video HERE. and Kyle Martin who lined a rbi single in the fifth. Watch video HERE. Ulises Joaquin came on for the save. Watch HERE.