Kyle McPherson had a great start tonight in Altoona’s 1-0 win in 11 innings. He went five shutout innings, allowing two hits, no walks, and striking out five. He was delayed for 43 minutes by a rain delay in the second inning, but came back out allowing just one hit in the final three innings.
“I felt the best I’ve felt in awhile tonight,” McPherson said after the game.
The performance capped off a great season for McPherson, which saw him put up a 3.02 ERA at the AA level in 89.1 innings, along with a 82:21 K/BB ratio. This followed a 2.89 ERA in 71.2 innings in the Florida State League, with a very impressive 60:6 K/BB ratio. The combination will make McPherson a likely choice for the organization’s pitcher of the year, and he was announced as Altoona’s pitcher of the year prior to tonight’s game.
“Obviously this organization’s got big plans for him. I don’t think he disappointed at all this year,” Curve manager P.J. Forbes said.
There’s a good reason for his success this year, and tonight was just a microcosm of the great season he’s had. He pounded the strike zone, pitching to contact, yet his stuff was good enough to average a strikeout per inning. His fastball was sitting 90-93 MPH, touching 94, with some nice armside movement. He also displayed a nice curveball which he could pinpoint on either side of the plate, using the pitch as a strikeout pitch. He threw a few nice changeups, giving him a strong three pitch mix.
McPherson ended his season on a strong note. He struck out his last batter on a nice 1-2 curveball. To set up the pitch he threw an 0-1 fastball inside and low, brushing the hitter back off the plate. He followed that up with a curveball that caught the outside corner for a called second strike. McPherson finished it off with a curveball low and inside for the swinging strikeout.
“Pitching in is something I take pride in. I’m not really afraid to come in there,” McPherson said.
-Brock Holt was hit with a pitch and removed from the game. He said afterwards that it just got him in the right spot, and that there was no serious damage, but that he couldn’t throw heading in to the next inning.
-The game was delayed by two rain delays, which totaled one hour and 52 minutes.
Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.
I’m high on McPherson….I hope he pans out.