Yes, Brewers pitching prospect Jake Odorizzi admitted, his arm was a bit sore in the days following the most memorable start of his career.
The 20-year-old Odorizzi threw 117 pitches in eight brilliant innings for Class A Wisconsin on Tuesday and combined with fellow Timber Rattlers right-hander Adrian Rosario on a combined no-hitter, the first by a Brewers Minor League affiliate this season. The pitching duo was invited to Miller Park on Sunday and recognized on the field before the Brewers-Pirates game.
“It’s been a hectic week,” Odorizzi said. “But worth it.”
Some Brewers front office officials consider Odorizzi to be Milwaukee’s best pitching prospect. The team drafted him in the supplemental phase of the first round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, one of four pitchers selected by Milwaukee before the end of the second round and the only one having success in 2009.
In 22 games, 19 starts, Odorizzi is 7-3 with a 3.34 ERA and 130 strikeouts in 116 innings. He’ll make one last start on Tuesday at home against Kane County.
It will be tough for Odorizzi to top his gem last week in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he matched his career high with 10 strikeouts. A 28-pitch eighth inning, including an 11-pitch battle with the last hitter he faced, put him at 117 pitches for the night and forced a call to the bullpen.
“I wasn’t happy about coming out until I was told my pitch count, and then I was like, OK, that is a very good reason to come out,” Odorizzi said. “I was told I wasn’t allowed to go over 120 [pitches], and I didn’t think I was going to be able to get three quick [outs on three pitches], so they gave it to Rosario.”
Rosario, signed out of the Dominican Republic in August 2006, worked a hitless ninth with two strikeouts.
“It felt so good because they gave me a chance to finish inning No. 9,” Rosario said. “I wasn’t nervous. I knew what was going on.”
“You get remembered by what you do, and this is a pretty good thing to be remembered by,” Odorizzi said. “It’s something to build off of. When you have this kind of success, you want to go out there and do it every time. It helps you push yourself more, knowing you can do this.”
He almost did it in April. Odorizzi worked the first five innings on April 16 without allowing a hit, and Damon Krestalude preserved the no-hitter until the ninth inning, when he surrendered a two-out double.
“This one had a better feeling to it,” Odorizzi said. “Everything worked the whole night. You knew it was going to happen.”