Jesse Crain finds success by throwing more curveballs
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN firstname.lastname@example.org May 9, 2013 10:59PM
Chicago White Sox's Jesse Crain (26) winds up to deliver to the Texas Rangers in a baseball game Thursday, May 2, 2013, in Arlington. The White Sox won 3-1. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Updated: June 11, 2013 6:38AM
Live, learn and adjust.
That explains why White Sox right-hander Jesse Crain is throwing more curveballs and using less of his other offspeed pitches.
“Every year is different,’’ said Crain, who struck out the side in his 12th consecutive scoreless appearance in the Sox’ 6-3 victory Wednesday against the Mets in New York. “You face the same guys over and over so you mix things in here and there. I’ve thrown my curve more than I ever have. You always have to make an adjustment, keep things fresh and put more things in a hitter’s head. But on the whole, I’ve thrown more fastballs than the last few years.’’
Crain said the adductor that bothered him during spring training is “100 percent.’’ He leads American League relievers with 18 appearances, owns a 1.20 ERA and hasn’t allowed an earned run at home.
“In the last week or so we have the bullpen lined up [with more-defined roles],’’ said Crain, who will be asked to face more left-handers now that Matt Thornton is the only lefty in the bullpen. “It’s fun to get in there a lot and hold leads.’’
Crain has successfully held a lead for the Sox nine times.
To the left
Left-hander Hector Santiago believes the Sox can cope with four left-handers in the rotation — if it comes to that — when John Danks makes his expected return soon.
“[Chris] Sale is a slider guy, I’m a changeup guy, [Jose] Quintana is a cutter guy and Danks, you don’t know what to expect, but from what I’ve heard his change is pretty good right now and he’s locating his fastball,’’ Santiago said. “It’s a different day every day.’’
This and that
Sox starting pitchers have a 1.96 ERA in seven games this month.
◆ Jake Peavy, who has won his last three decisions, has a 1.98 ERA in that span with 32 strikeouts over 271/3 innings.
◆ The White Sox’ 22 errors rank third to worst in the AL. The Angels lead AL clubs with 27.
◆ The Sox are home for a short time after their eight-game, three-city road trip. They travel to Minnesota and Anaheim next week.