READING — It was a little earlier than usual, but the 9:30 a.m. start didn’t stop Reading Phillies right-hander Jonathan Pettibone from posting his third consecutive impressive outing in a season of continued progress.
Pettibone wasn’t involved in the decision during Monday's 4-3 victory in 10 innings over the visiting Akron Aeros at First Energy Stadium, but he certainly pitched well enough to win.
He threw seven plus innings, allowing four hits and two runs, only one earned. Pettibone struck out eight batters and walked two.
For the season, Pettibone is 6-5 with a 3.43 ERA. He has 53 strikeouts and has allowed 23 walks in 86 2/3 innings. In his last three outings, Pettibone is 2-0 with the no-decision and has allowed four earned runs in 20 innings. During that span, he has struck out 14 and walked two.
Reading plays an annual 9:30 a.m. game, and Pettibone admitted it was a an adjustment being on the mound at a time when many ballplayers are just waking up.
“With a later game, you kind of have time to get in your own routine and prepare yourself,” Pettibone said. “You just wake up and go and it’s a little different but nothing different than spring training.”
The 6-foot-6, 225-pound Pettibone turns 22 in July. He was rated the Phillies No. 5 prospect in the spring by The Inquirer and Daily News.
He says one of the reasons for his recent success has been due to improved mechanics that he has worked on with pitching coach Bob Milacki.
“I have been using my lower half, which has been easy on my arm and it’s giving my arm a break,” he said. “That has helped me take the approach of attacking hitters and getting ahead of them with first-pitch strikes.”