— Pensacola BlueWahoos (@BlueWahoosBBall) April 23, 2017
Pensacola righthander Tyler Mahle didn’t have his best stuff on Saturday evening but he came away with the best results possible.
“My offspeed was just OK, but I had my fastball,” Mahle, the Reds’ No. 12 prospect, said via phone. “But I knew that if I had my fastball I could get away with them only having to worry about one pitch. If I could locate it and take velo off and add it, I’d be OK. My fastball, it was probably the best day for that, but my slider was average and my changeup was pretty good.”
Mahle, a 22-year-old whom the Reds selected in the seventh round of the 2013 draft, pitched a nine-inning perfect game in a 1-0 win over Mobile. It was the Southern League’s first nine-inning perfecto since Aug. 14, 1970, when Montgomery’s Chips Swanson bested Savannah.
He entered the ninth having thrown just 76 pitches, so there was no need to beg Blue Wahoos manager Pat Kelly to let him stay in the game. He wasn’t on a pitch count, and history was on the line.
“I knew he was going to let me go,” Mahle said. “I knew my pitch count was down so I knew it wasn’t going to be an issue.”
He needed just 12 more to finish the gem. The last one he threw was bounced back to the mound by Mobile’s Caleb Adams. Mahle gathered and fired to first baseman Eric Jagielo, and history was sealed.
Mahle recalled just a couple of hard-hit balls all night, but they were right at fielders. Mahle struck out eight hitters as well.
Asked where Saturday night would rank on his list of achievements, Mahle’s answer was easy.
“I’d say it was up there at No. 1,” he said.