Scott Baker allows six runs in 2-plus innings of rehab start for Kane County
BY PAUL JOHNSON For Sun-Times Media July 20, 2013 1:46AM
Scott Baker's ERA is 15.88 after two rehab starts for Class A Kane County. | AP
The good news for Cubs rehabbing pitcher Scott Baker is that he is having no physical problems with his surgically repaired right elbow.
The bad news for Baker and the Cubs is that after two outings for Class A Kane County, Baker still is trying to get a feel for pitching after nearly two years off the mound.
His second rehab start Friday for the Cougars didn’t go well. He lasted only 2 2/3 innings, allowing six earned runs and six hits, striking out one and walking three, the leadoff batter in each inning. He wound up with a no-decision after the Cougars rallied to tie the score before ultimately losing 8-6 in a rain-shortened, seven-inning game.
“Obviously, you’d like to see better results, there’s no doubt about it,” Baker said. “I think that’s a byproduct of having good mechanics and being able to execute pitches. Right now, that’s just not the case. I’m kind of feeling for it a big mechanically.”
Baker, who allowed four runs in the first inning of his first rehab start Sunday at West Michigan, repeated the feat against Great Lakes. The first five batters reached, with Dodgers prospect Corey Seager providing a two-run double as the Loons batted around. Malcolm Holland’s RBI single in the third chased Baker from the game, leaving his ERA at an unsightly 15.88 for the Cougars.
“Honestly, I’m going to continue to go out there and do the best I can,” Baker said. “I’ve been doing this for a while. I know that to sit here and dwell over this outing or try to read into it too much is really not going to do me any good.”
Baker said that while he has no adverse effects from his elbow problems, he doesn’t feel like he’s able to let it fly the way he’d like at this point in his rehab. His fastball was in the mid-80s most of the game, and he said he was able to throw some breaking balls for strikes, though it was hard to use those pitches often because he was routinely falling behind hitters.
“It’s a funny thing because as much as I’m trying to let it go, it’s just not coming out as well as I’d like,” Baker said. “Everything’s got to click. At least for me, I want that pitching motion to feel fluid and in rhythm. It’s kind of feeling like a bunch of different pieces now.”
Baker calls his next bullpen session “very important.” Whether his next rehab start comes for the Cougars is still up in the air.
In the game, the Cougars rallied to get Baker off the hook. Gioskar Amaya and Jeimer Candelario each hit two-run home runs to help tie the score at 6 in the fifth inning. But a pair of runs off Michael Heesch in the seventh gave the Loons an 8-6 lead before the skies opened up in the top of the eighth, forcing a delay.