Jack Flaherty put on a show, striking out seven consecutive Phillies with ease and a nasty changeup
Spring Training is a time for players to fine-tune their skills, work out some kinks in their mechanics and get fully ready for the season ahead. Shake off the rust of the offseason, get in "game shape," all the other platitudes you expect to read about.
Cardinals right-hander Jack Flaherty definitely appears to be ready for 2019. How do we know this? Well, in his game against the Phillies on Tuesday afternoon, he struck out seven consecutive hitters ... and he made it look simple.
Look at this pitch:
You don't know Jack about hitting against Flaherty! 🔥 pic.twitter.com/EyKJMG2fSV— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) March 5, 2019
Sorry, Andrew McCutchen. Also sorry, Maikel Franco.
Jack Flaherty had 9 strikeouts through 4 IP.— MLB (@MLB) March 5, 2019
That’s *checks math* very good. pic.twitter.com/sAMkKlm5cE
This changeup is unfair.
Jack Flaherty, Disappearing 87mph Changeup. 👻 pic.twitter.com/6vdz10PNOH— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) March 5, 2019
If you were wondering if seven consecutive strikeouts in a Spring Training game is rare, it hadn't happened for the Cardinals in five years:
Jack Flaherty is the first #Cardinals pitcher to strike out seven consecutive batters in a spring game since Lance Lynn struck out his final eight batters in a 2014 Grapefruit League start vs. Braves. Lynn had 10 Ks in that game, per @Cardinals research. #stlcards— Derrick Goold (@dgoold) March 5, 2019
That's a formidable feat of pitching filth that you don't see often. But the Cardinals pitching staff wasn't done showing off on Tuesday.
Flame-throwing reliever Jordan Hicks took the mound after Flaherty and hit 103 on the radar gun ... among several more 100-mph+ pitches, en route to a four-strikeout inning.
101, 103, 103.— MLB (@MLB) March 5, 2019
It's March, but Jordan Hicks is already bringing heat. pic.twitter.com/Xy6R5H9UZC
Good luck, anybody facing these two this season.
Adrian Garro joined MLB.com in 2016. Throughout his travels, both Bartolo Colon and Vin Scully have placed their hands on his shoulders. Not at the same time, though. That'd be amazing.