Thursday, April 30, 2009

Attack the strike zone


Let Kyle Davies explain his pitching strategy long enough, and you start to hear some familiar phrases.
"Be aggressive, get ahead and work both sides of the plate," Davies said on Wednesday.
It's simple stuff, really. So it may not be much of a surprise to hear Davies explain exactly what went wrong in his last start against Detroit on Saturday, when Davies allowed seven runs and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings.
"I have to be aggressive to both sides of the plate with my fastball, and I have to attack," Davies said. "And I think I got a little bit away from that in that last start."
His outing against the Tigers was the first time Davies had given up more than four runs in a start since July 3, 2008, against Baltimore.
"It takes starting pitching to win," Hillman said.
And this is where Davies' pitching strategy comes in. He has to be aggressive, he has to work both sides of the plate and, most importantly, he has to get ahead, something he didn't do well his last time out.
"As you could see, if you watch the way I started, it was 2-0, 2-1 on a lot of hitters," Davies said. "And it's very tough to pitch in the major leagues like that."
He certainly found that out against the Tigers, who battered Davies for two home runs.
"That's what happens when you're not aggressive early in the count," Davies said. "You have to come back over the plate late, and it doesn't matter what pitch it is, the guys is swinging the bat, and he's going to be pretty aggressive when he's swinging in his count. So that was a little bit of the problem."
Davies, of course, would know. The control issues weren't a problem during his first three starts -- Davies went 1-0 with a 2.89 ERA -- and he thinks he knows the way back to success.
"[Just] be aggressive," Davies said, "And pitch to both sides of the plate."

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