05/28/2008 1:23 PM ET
Verlander: Moving ahead with mechanics
Detroit's flamethrower has been better in last two starts
I thought I threw well at times earlier this season, but the results just weren't there. My response was to focus on good mechanics. I've done that for six weeks or so now, and I feel like I've seen some positive results in my last two starts. I believe things are finally starting to come together for me.
Mechanics for a pitcher are so important. Overall, I am not really a big video guy -- especially when things are going well. Sometimes I use video if I am trying to find something in particular, but generally I don't watch a lot of video of myself.
Good mechanics are about protecting your arm. I know my mechanics are not sound when my arm begins to fly open with my front side. That signals that you're throwing with all arm and risking injury. From a practical standpoint, it also makes your pitches gets flatter. Your stuff just isn't as good.
My velocity is a good gauge of my mechanics. I've been able to throw hard my whole life, so when my velocity goes down, I know something is a bit off. That's why I've been working so hard to try and get that feel back -- to get my mechanics back in synch.
During my last start, I glanced at the scoreboard to look at the radar-gun readings. The numbers looked good, which indicates to me that I'm beginning to get back where I belong.
There have been times in my career when I have had to deal with less velocity. In my first year, my arm was fatigued. I was throwing 88 and 89 mph into the low 90s. I had to go out and pitch with that.
But at this level, guys can hit even when I'm at the top of my game and throwing 99 mph. Pitching is a constant learning process no matter how hard you throw. Hopefully, the worst is behind me at this point, and I can finish strong. That's the goal. Maybe this year I got all of my bad outings out of the way early?
The bottom line, though, is going out there and winning. I am simply satisfied if I give up one fewer run than the other team, as long as we win.
Justin Verlander, off to slow start in 2008 after winning 17 and 18 games respectively the past two seasons, has allowed just two earned runs and struck out 10 batters over 15 innings in his past two starts.