From the first batter he faced in his Double-A debut, Andrew Painter was in control. Painter struck out leadoff man Wilyer Abreu and would go on to strike out seven more hitters as he gave Reading six shutout innings that led to an 8-0 Reading win.
Throughout the game, Painter’s fastball velocity was in the mid to upper-90s, reaching as high as 98. He needed 87 pitches – 57 strikes – to get through six innings and did not walk a batter, while allowing just three hits in the game.
Like Mick Abel, who made his Double-A debut a night earlier, Painter worked quickly and had hitters chasing his high fastball, which they were unable to catch up to. Of the two, Painter, who is just 19, showed a little more willingness to pitch inside and as the game progressed, he mixed in more and more breaking balls. On the night, Painter had just one three ball count as Tyler Dearden worked him to a 3-2 count before Painter blew a fastball by Dearden for the second out of the third inning. Cam Cannon provided a challenge for Painter in the fifth when he put together a nine-pitch at-bat, fouling off five straight pitches before Painter was able to get his on a swing and miss.
If there was anything to nit-pick about, it would be that of the 22 batters faced, Painter issued a first pitch strike to 12, slightly under where pitchers would like to be. The good news though is of the 10 times he did get a 1-0 count, in nine of them, he came back to either get a strike or an out on the second pitch.
Andrew Painter’s Pitching Line vs Portland
As for the game itself, Reading continued to use the longball against the Sea Dogs. Jhailyn Ortiz launched his second grand slam of the season in the game, while McCarthy Tatum and Aldrem Corredor both provided solo home runs as Reading and Portland split their six-game series.