Geer surprised by fly-ball bonanza

Geer surprised by fly-ball bonanza

SAN DIEGO -- One of Josh Geer's best pitches is a two-seam fastball, a pitch that often induces more than its share of ground balls because of its sinking action.

On Thursday, though, it did just the opposite for the rookie right-hander, who got 16 fly-ball outs in an 11-3 victory over the Giants, his second victory in three starts this month.

Not that Geer, 25, had any idea he induced that many fly balls.

"I'm very surprised. ... Sixteen fly balls, that's amazing," Geer said, sounding astonished. "I usually get ground-ball outs. I guess [it's because of] different teams, depending on how they swing or if they're chasing things or whatever. I guess they were under it the whole game."

The 16 fly balls were the second-most by a Padres pitcher this season. Chris Young had 17 against the Brewers on Sunday, when he came within four outs of the first no-hitter in franchise history.

And then there's Geer, who doesn't profile as a fly-ball pitcher by any means. In fact, Grady Fuson, the Padres' director of scouting, said that Geer is a "combo-type" pitcher, one equally adapt at getting fly balls and ground balls.

"I felt like I was keeping the ball down, throwing inside. They got a couple of jam-jobs that turned into fly balls," Geer said. "A lot of them were changeups. That was a weird game."

Geer, who takes a 2-0 record with a 3.18 ERA into his next start Wednesday against the Rockies, benefited from two nice running catches in center field by fellow rookie Will Venable, who did plenty of that when the two were teammates this season at Triple-A Portland.

"He's done it a lot for me this year," Geer said. "He's made some unbelievable plays."

As for pitching in pitching-friendly PETCO Park, Geer can't get enough of it. He can certainly see why other pitchers feel the same way.

"You can sit back and tell them to hit it as far as they want," Geer said, exaggerating. "I love pitching here. It's a big park and a big outfield."

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.