By: Sam Jellinek
Allentown, Pa - Noah Skirrow understands irony. He’s just never expected to
be a part of it so often. Naturally as the only Canadian on the IronPigs
roster, he of course was pitching for the IronPigs during their quasi-July 4th
celebration on July 3rd against Rochester.
“Canada Day was July 1 so quite a few guys at least knew
about that. I’ve had some pretty ironic starts in my career. I was a freshman
and pitched on senior day in college, I was a Canadian who threw on military
appreciation day in college, and now I think I’ve had two July 4th
weekend starts in my career too. It’s fun though, it keeps it light,” Skirrow
Given the performance Skirrow put on during that July 3rd
game, you would have expected him to have been inspired by the Founding
Fathers. Skirrow tossed six-plus innings, leading the IronPigs to victory. It
was the fourth time this season Skirrow went at least six innings.
In commanding starts that go six frames, typically you’d
expect higher strikeout totals, but for Skirrow in each of those starts he
struck out five or fewer. At the beginning of the season, the lower strikeout
numbers concerned Skirrow. But now, outs are outs however they come to Skirrow.
“I’ve kind of accepted the fact that I’m not going to put up
the same level of punchout numbers that I did in Double-A which is fine. Outs
are out. Pitching deep into ballgames is more important than striking out seven
over four innings. To routinely pitch into the sixth is the goal and if being a
groundball, weak contact, kind of guy is how I can get there then that’s what
I’m going to try and do,” Skirrow said.
An undrafted free agent out of Liberty signed by the
Phillies back in 2020, Skirrow has made quite an impact in just his third season
in the Phillies organization. Trying to be a workhorse for the IronPigs,
Skirrow has continued to refine his repertoire and his mindset on the hill to
allow him to work deep into games as a starter.
“Against a lineup like Rochester, I tend to get more
groundballs because I’m facing more left handed batters so I’m throwing the
change-up more and the slider as well. That whole day was the mindset of trying
to have the shortest at-bats as possible and ground balls are typically the way
to do that.”
Skirrow has had the benefit as well of a starting rotation
where he is the baby of the bunch. Every other starter is older than him and
for the most part has some Major League service time. This allows Skirrow to
soak up information and grow in a well-versed environment.
“More so for me, it’s watching how they go through a lineup.
When they get ahead, how do they attack, and when they are behind in the count
how do they get out of it quicker. It’s a cool experience to be one of the
younger guys, you get to learn a lot and you just have to take advantage of
Skirrow has most definitely taken advantage of
it, leading the IronPigs in innings pitched and wins through the All-Star
break. The ironic moments continue to rack up Skirrow, but that’s not necessarily
a bad thing. Each ironic moment on the mound means it’s just another time he’s
been given the rock to start a game. He’s proven he’s worth every