JUPITER, Fla. – Brandon Beachy walked five batters in three innings Monday, and had to be thankful it was only March 12 against a split-squad St. Louis lineup.
The Cardinals only mustered one run against Beachy, but got four against the bullpen in a 5-4 win that gave the Braves their eighth consecutive defeat and dropped them to 1-10 in Grapefruit League games.
“It’s pretty bad, pretty terrible,” Beachy said of the walks. “I was struggling to throw strikes at times. Trying to make adjustments and they just aren’t coming as quickly as I need them to.”
He induced a double-play grounder to end the second inning and coaxed a flyball to leave the bases loaded again in the third, but Beachy wasn’t interested in hearing any glass-half-full notion of good damage control.
“I definitely don’t look at it like I avoided something there,” he said. “It’s what I did to put myself in that position [that’s important]. Because in all likelihood, you get in that situation more times than not it’s going to hurt you.
“Maybe today it didn’t mount up on the scoreboard, but I can’t flirt with that.”
He did that too many times in an otherwise stellar rookie season, and this year Beachy wants to avoid big innings caused by any sudden loss of control.
In his first spring-training start last week, he gave up three hits, four earned runs and two walks in two innings. Monday was his second start, and after retiring the first four batters he faced, he walked three of the next four.
“I felt more in control of the situation than I did last time out,” he said. “I knew what I was trying to do, it just wasn’t happening. I know what it is. I can go back and look at video and see exactly what it is mechanically, and it’s just a matter of repeating it enough to where I can be comfortable and don’t have to think about it while I’m out there.”
He said the problem stemmed from moving his head too much during his delivery, which causes him to lose sight of the target momentarily. Trying to eliminate the flaw in the middle of a game can get tricky, even if it’s just a spring-training game.
“Because you’re trying to get guys out at the same time,”he said. “During the season last year I could usually make that adjustment pitch to pitch. Right now it’s just not coming that quickly.”