In his second game back from an oblique injury, Jair Jurrjens added a new twist to his sinker – a Jonny Venters-style grip.
Venters has earned the admiration of the rest of the Braves pitching staff over the past year for his 94-95 mph sinker from the left-hand side, which baffles hitters.
So Jurrjens, who felt like his fastball was flattening out, asked Venters about his grip in batting practice one day. Venters holds the two-seam fastball with his index and middle finger between the two seams. Jurrjens held his two fingers split in a more traditional position on the seams.
Jurrjens said he tried the new grip in a couple of bullpens, then debuted it against the Dodgers in LA. He gave up one run in six innings in that game and has been using it since.
“It’s sinking more, going down,” Jurrjens said. “The other one was running.”
Jurrjens is 4-0 with a 1.50 ERA in five starts since returning from the disabled list. He’s looking for his second win in a row against the Phillies Saturday.
Not that Venters thinks he has much to do with it.
“I’m going to take all the credit for his success,” Venters said with a smile.