The Phillies top pitching prospect, Spencer Howard, put on quite a show to remember last night at First Energy Stadium in Reading. He went seven innings, struck out 12 and left with a 3-1 lead. Read HERE. The Reading bullpen let the game get away from them on a fielder’s choice and bases loaded walk as the Trenton Thunder pushed across three runs in the eight inning and went on to a 4-3 win to take a 1-0 lead in the best of five, Eastern League East, semi-final round. Watch HERE.
Still the real story was Howard. With several Phillies Front Office personnel watching from front row seats to the right of home plate, see above, Howard was in full command except for a bad break in the sixth inning. The inability of third baseman Alec Bohm to barehand a slow roller charge play in the inning broke up the no-hitter with one out. That play would set up the only run Howard would allow. He would give up a bad hop single in the seventh inning for the only other hit Trenton could manage off of him.
It’s clear Howard likes the pressure of the post season. Last season he pitched threw a 103 pitch, 9 strikeout, 9-inning, no hitter for Lakewood in the SAL Finals. Last night he had a no-hitter for 5.1 innings. He finished up with a 99 pitch, one run, two hitter last night.
Howard started in two playoff games last season. Combined with last night’s effort, he has pitched 21 inning, allowing, 5 hits, 2 runs, 3 walks and struck out 27 in his three post season starts in his brief minor league career.
Howard has all the traits of a major league No. 1 starting pitcher. He rises to the occasion with his swing and miss stuff in the biggest of games!