Chad Durbin hasn’t exactly endeared himself to Braves fans since signing on the last day of spring training – he has allowed three home runs in each of his first three appearances out of the Braves bullpen.
But his manager isn’t ready to give up on him just yet.
“We need to get him in there a little more and get him that life on that fastball, that two-seamer,” Fredi Gonzalez said.
Durbin concedes that his pitches are coming out flat; his sinker’s not sinking and his cutter isn’t cutting as he’d like.
“There’s just a little bit of action on the ball that’s not happening to get them off the barrel,” Durbin said.
Durbin entered Sunday’s game with a 7-1 lead on the Brewers, and gave up three runs, including a two-run homer to Jonathan Lucroy, forcing Eric O’Flaherty to get up and start tossing.
As much difficulty as he’s having with his feel, Durbin’s home-run problems haven’t just suddenly cropped up. The veteran right-hander has now allowed at least one homer in an eye-popping seven consecutive appearances going back to last Sept. 14.
Durbin has a 14.00 ERA with nine homers, a .386 batting average and 14 runs allowed in nine innings during that stretch, including three homers in one inning against the White Sox on Sept. 21.
He leads NL relievers in homers allowed despite pitching only three innings.