It was a week of accolades for Ducks pitcher Shaun Garceau. First, the righthander was selected to the 17th Atlantic League All-Star Game, scheduled for Wednesday in Sugar Land, Texas. Teammates Lew Ford and Adam Bailey also were selected. Entering Friday, Garceau was 8-1 with a 4.58 ERA.
Later in the week, he was named Atlantic League pitcher of the month for June. During the season's second full month, Garceau was 5-0 with a 2.60 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 342/3 innings. He allowed 10 runs and walked 13 during the month, and batters hit .227 against him.
Garceau, who played high school baseball in Royal Palm Beach, Florida, was chosen by the Cardinals in the 20th round of the 2005 draft. He spent five seasons in the St. Louis organization, reaching Double-A Springfield in 2010.
Before joining the Ducks last September, he spent parts of two seasons with the York Revolution.
How did it feel to get selected to the All-Star Game?
It felt great. It's my first time being an All-Star in the nine years I've been playing professional ball. I've been close before but never got it. It's a big thing for me. It means that I've been working really hard. It feels good to accomplish something, especially after working so hard this offseason.
How special is it to be going down with two of your teammates, Ford and Bailey?
I love Lew and Adam. They're great guys. We're going to have a blast. There are events to do and we're going to golf before the All-Star Game. It's going to be fun.
Your strikeout numbers are high, ranking fourth in the league with 68, entering Thursday. Have you always been a big strikeout guy?
I've struck out more this year than normal. I've always had games where I've had a lot of strikeouts, but in the past, I haven't had high strikeout numbers. Whatever the reason is, maybe just getting better with two strikes, it's something that I like . . . With two strikes, you learn to put people away quicker and not give them anything to hit.
When you're pitching well, as you've done in most games this year, what kind of things are working for you?
When I'm "on,'' it's when I'm barely thinking and everything comes easy. I'm throwing all four pitches for strikes and I'm not having to make a lot of adjustments, maybe an inning or two here and there. But otherwise, it just comes naturally.Is there a pitch that you feel most confident in right now?
Besides my fastball, the last couple outings it's been my cutter. But when things are going real well, it's my curveball. I like to throw my curveball a lot.
How motivated is this team after playing so well in the first half but still falling short of a division title?
It's motivating, but not something that changes our approach at all. We're sticking with the same approach because we won a lot of games. Obviously, we want to win more, clinch and beat Somerset . . . We'll stick to the same goal we have now and we'll be fine.
Next up:The Ducks finish a four-game set with the Lancaster Barnstormers Sunday afternoon. After the four-day All-Star break, they'll open up a six-game homestand against York and Bridgeport. York won the first-half title in the Freedom Division. Bridgeport finished last in the Liberty Division.