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or $8.75 million and the Oriole

  • 09 May
    导出博客文章OAKLAND, Calif. -- Oakland As right-hander Kendall Graveman was 12 starts into
    the season and was searching for answers. He was 2-6 with a 5.28 ERA, and
    opposing hitters were batting .309 with 11 home runs against him.Thats when
    pitching coach Curt Young made a suggestion that helped turn Gravemans season
    around.Curt came up to me and said, You got to find what works for you, what
    makes you have a chip on your shoulder, whats going to lock you in, Graveman
    said.Graveman said he remembered how locked in he was in 2014, when he
    visualized his pitches before every game and rocketed through the Toronto Blue
    Jays system, earning five promotions and finishing the season in the major
    leagues.It was something that I just had to get back to, visualize throwing
    every pitch to both sides of the plate to lefties and righties, Graveman said.
    Its almost like youre visualizing a pitch that you want to make in a big
    situation to try to get someone out, but also just visualizing quality pitches.I
    think for me it sets up nicely because I get to see the movement when I
    visualize it. Youve seen it so much after you throw it and watching video that I
    think that just reinforces it. The minds a powerful thing. I think we know that
    now in the game of baseball. You start really thinking positively before a
    start, I think positive outcomes will happen.In his past six starts, Graveman
    has gone 4-0 with a 2.68 ERA, and opposing hitters are batting .232 with two
    home runs.Graveman will take a career-high five-game winning streak into his
    start Saturday against the Tampa Bay Rays and left-hander Drew Smyly.Smyly has
    lost a career-high seven straight games and is trying to escape the worst slump
    of his career. Hes 2-11 with a 5.64 ERA. Smyly, who missed 105 last year because
    of a left shoulder injury, entered this season with a career record of 24-15
    with a 3.24 ERA.Its just been a slump, man, Smyly said. I wish I had an answer
    but I dont. You just got to keep grinding, keep searching. Im healthy. I feel
    fine. Every chance I get Im competing my hardest, so hopefully I can get it
    turned around. It is what it is.Despite Smylys struggles, the Rays have no plans
    to take him out of the rotation, manager Kevin Cash said.Were very confident he
    is going to pitch his way out of this, Cash said before the Rays 1-0, 13-inning
    loss to Oakland. Were looking forward to getting him on the mound (Saturday). I
    sat down and talked to him casually with him after his start in Colorado. Hes
    doing all the right things. The results just arent coming. Sometimes youve got
    to let it kind of work its course and one start, one, two good innings of
    something clicking can be really beneficial for him.Smyly gave up five runs and
    needed 100 pitches to get through five innings in a 7-4 loss to the Rockies on
    Monday at Coors Field.First of all, I believe hes healthy, too, Cash said. Weve
    talked to Drew. I think its just inconsistencies in his off-speed pitches. He
    has not gone into a start here recently where hes really had his wipeout cutter
    or wipeout breaking ball and it becomes difficult. Youre facing some good
    hitters, good lineups and to go out there with just a fastball -- he tries to
    get really picky with the fastball knowing that he doesnt have that. I know
    thats kind of been the focal point for him, to try to get one if not two of
    those off-sped pitches going for him.Graveman, who relies heavily on a nasty
    sinker, is 1-1 with a 2.04 ERA in three career starts against Tampa Bay. He took
    the loss on May 14 at Tropicana Field, allowing four runs over 5 2/3 innings in
    a 6-0 defeat.Smyly is 1-2 with a 6.87 ERA in six appearances against the As,
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    . LOUIS -- Roman Polak was celebrating even before
    Alexander Steen scored the winning goal in Saturdays 4-2 win over the Carolina
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