Flaherty Calls These High-Pressure Games His 'Fun Time'

Flaherty's 2.91 ERA is top-10 among all NL rookies and he leads all MLB rookies in strikeouts with 160. 

September 14, 2018 - 3:40 pm

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - What does a typical 22-year-old want to do on a Friday night? Bars, video games or a party with friends maybe. Not St. Louis Cardinals rookie pitcher Jack Flaherty. 

It sounds like there's nowhere else Flaherty would rather be on a late September evening, than pitching one of the most important games of the season for St. Louis. He'll take the mound to face his hometown Los Angeles Dodgers Friday, as just one game separates the two teams fighting for the No. 2 NL Wild Card spot.

"With our schedule the way it works out, every team we're going up against, every game matters so it's fun," Flaherty says. "I don't look at it any other way, I look at it as competition and competition is fun. So for me it's fun time, it's time to go get it."

Flaherty faced the Dodgers in LA last month, when he struck out 10 and allowed just one run in six innings of work. He earned the win in St. Louis' 3-1 victory. 

Unfortunately, his last time on the mound resulted in a 5-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers as he allowed four runs in five innings. But his 2.91 ERA is still top-10 among all NL rookies and he leads all MLB rookies in strikeouts with 160. 

So how does a this young man do it? PB&J sandwiches and Wiz Khalifa might have something to do with it. 

KMOX's Chris Hrabe spoke with Flaherty before Thursday's series opener against the Dodgers and learned a few things about the 22-year-old's big-league routine. 

If Flaherty is ever in need of a snack on days when he's pitching, his go-to is a self-made peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Which he's pretty proud of.

"I'll take my peanut butter and jelly I make over anybody else, I don't need a gourmet spread," Flaherty says. 

He admits it's not quite as lucky as Matt Carpenter's salsa, but it's a snack he knows will "work with his stomach." 

He and a few teammates also continue a tradition, called "Wiz Friday's." Meaning, they listen to Wiz Khalifa songs every Friday.

"Started in high-A, something about it just makes your vibes real good for going into the weekend," Flaherty says.

Watch the full interview with Flaherty at the top of this page.