Jack Flaherty is arguably the hottest pitcher in baseball right now.
The St. Louis Cardinals right-hander added another gem on Friday, scattering three hits while striking out nine over six shutout innings against the Colorado Rockies.
The 23-year-old was masterful while honoring his friend Tyler Skaggs - the Los Angeles Angels left-hander who died in July - with a tribute on the back of his Players' Weekend uniform.
“It means a lot, it really does,” Flaherty said, according to Anne Rogers of MLB.com “Being able to have his name across the back in some type of fashion was something I really wanted to do, and I’m thankful we had the opportunity and the other guys around the league who did it."
Following his effort against the Rockies, Flaherty now has a microscopic 0.80 ERA since July 7 over nine starts (56 1/3 innings) with 70 strikeouts. No other starting pitcher in the majors with at least eight starts over that span has a lower ERA.
“It’s just staying sharp,” Flaherty said. “You try to - the start before the All-Star break, you try to carry a start like that into the next one. Continuing to move on and stay right there.
"Not try to do anything more, not go, ‘OK, we did a really good job, now let’s just try to make it better.’ It’s just continuing to execute in those situations.”
Thanks to his six-plus weeks of brilliance, Flaherty's .210 opponents' batting average ranks fourth-best in the National League heading into Saturday's action.