When the Wilmington Blue Rocks season started, they had a six man rotation that looked like this: five prospects and Aaron Brooks.
Fast forward to today, and Brooks may just be the best of the six.
Last night, he was even better.
Brooks pitched eight shutout innings and only allowed five hits. He allowed a hit to the first hitter of the game and did not allow his second hit until there were two outs in the fifth. The Hillcats never had more than one baserunner on at any time against him.
By my count, he threw 86 pitches, 59 for strikes. In his final inning, he only threw eight pitches and faced four batters. He threw pitches to all four quadrants of the strikezone and topped out at 95 over the fourth and fifth innings (the two innings I was watching the scout’s radar gun).
He credited his defense behind him, which was great.
After struggling over his first three starts of the 2013 season, he said the major adjustment he made was just not trying for strikeouts. “Trying to get outs from the first three pitches. We have a great defense, so just trying to let them work behind me.”
It was his second start against Lynchburg in his last four starts. In Lynchburg, he allowed two hits over six scoreless innings. He talked after the game about facing the first place Hillcats twice in four starts.
“It definitely has a little bit of a motivation factor, once you’ve thrown against them, done well. Just try to take that into the next start.”