"My command was great, and everything was really working out there," McKenzie told MiLB.com. "I used the changeup intermittently to keep the hitters off balance. I mean, I'm definitely not keeping count of how many strikeouts I have while I'm on the mound, although I knew I had tallied a decent amount. But I was a little surprised when they told me how many I had when I was done."
McKenzie made easy work of a loaded Carolina offense that featured five hitters ranked on the Brewers' Top 30 Prospects list, allowing just two baserunners while throwing 63 of his 92 pitches for strikes. The 19-year-old right-hander recorded 15 swinging strikes in the performance, including eight swinging strikeouts.
McKenzie's outing began inauspiciously, with a five-pitch walk to Carolina leadoff man Corey Ray (Brewers' No. 2). He was dominant after that, though, as McKenzie struck out the side in the first and second innings during a stretch that saw him retire 10 straight batters.
McKenzie kept the Mudcats out of the hit column for 3 1/3 innings before surrendering a one-out single to Isan Diaz (Brewers' No. 5). It would be the lone hit permitted by the teenager, who punctuated his performance by striking out the final five batters he faced.
McKenzie's gem was his second straight for the Hillcats after he tossed a career-high seven innings -- allowing just an unearned run -- in his previous turn on May 2, and he's allowed more than two earned runs just once in six starts.
Overall, McKenzie (3-2) has pitched to a 1.95 ERA this season, with 44 strikeouts and 20 hits allowed in 32 1/3 innings.
Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.