By Aaron Cheris
One might expect a Harvard graduate to overthink certain things. Sky Sox pitcher Brent Suter likes to do exactly the opposite.
Over the past few weeks, the 26-year-old Harvard graduate has established himself as the ace of an improved Colorado Springs Sky Sox pitching staff
In his last 10 games, the Sky Sox southpaw has posted a microscopic 0.87 ERA, allowing just four earned runs in 41.1 innings on the mound, earning four wins and a save over that span.
For Suter, the key to that success is to keep things simple.
“Being aggressive in the zone and down in the zone is key,” Suter said. “I always like working quick and throwing strikes.”
Suter has been throwing strikes at a remarkable pace for the Sky Sox this season. Over 105.2 innings this season, Suter has walked just 13 batters while striking out 72.
“What’s been working is he throws strikes,” Sky Sox manager Rick Sweet said of Suter. “It’s just that nothing bothers Suter.”
On the mound, Suter also likes to keep the pace as quick as possible. In each of his last four starts, Suter has pitched a quality start and the game has taken less than two hours and 40 minutes.
“I try not to quick pitch, but I try to pitch quick,” Suter said. “I try to keep the tempo going, keep the defenders on their toes, and keep everyone in the game.”
Suter’s manager echoed his sentiment.
“He’s aggressive, he’s a fast worker, and he does nothing but throw strikes,” Sweet said.
Suter’s game on the mound is based more on control than speed, and he is using that to his advantage in the thin air at Security Service Field.
“I’m definitely not a hard thrower, I’m a low to mid 80s type of guy,” he said. “I’ve realized cutters and changeups are pretty good here and just keeping the ball down has made me a better pitcher.”
Suter hopes to play a similar game to longtime Major League starter Mark Buehrle, a left-hander who also wasn’t known for throwing hard.
“He was a guy who didn’t throw that hard, used his cutter, and used deception,” Suter said of Buehrle. “I try to emulate him a little bit and he worked quickly so that’s one of the guys I would most like to emulate.”
In the month of August, Suter has earned two wins by pitching 14.2 consecutive shutout innings to start the month. The strong starts have lowered Suter’s ERA to 3.07, which ranks fourth in the Pacific Coast League.
Although he isn’t listed as a top prospect on most major lists, Suter is doing his best to pitch his way to recognition in hopes of making it to the big leagues.
“I just try to go out there and do my best every time and do my job for that day,” he said. “If something happens down the road, that would be great.”
On the other side of the plate, Suter takes his batting duties seriously when the opportunity arises. His three hits lead all Sky Sox pitchers in that category, and he knows a good at-bat at the plate can do wonders when back on the mound.
“Batting is a very effective way to win games. You can help yourself win as a pitcher by just going up there and seeing a couple extra pitches and competing,” he said. “I just think of it as the flip side of pitching. Just going up there and competing as much as you can even though we don’t get many swingxrs.”
Both at the plate and on the mound, Suter will look to continue his strong streak as the Sky Sox look to finish the season on a high note.