Apr 20, 2010, 3:30 AM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Craig Stammen churned out eight strong innings to lead the Nats to victory.
Craig Stammen says his right arm has never felt this good. It certainly didn't feel this good last year when he tried to pitch with bone chips in his elbow that didn't allow him to throw a curveball without wincing pain.
But perhaps Stammen actually feels too good. Able to throw free and easy for the first time as a big leaguer, he's been tempted at times to try to cut loose and overpower opposing hitters.
Just one problem: Stammen is not a power pitcher. Never has been. Never will be. He actually loses effectiveness when trying to throw too hard, something he did five nights ago in Philadelphia during a wretched, 1 1/3-inning start against the Phillies.
So when he returned to the mound tonight against the Rockies, the 26-year-old made a conscious effort to ease off the gas pedal a bit. Don't try to throw 94 mph when 90 is good enough.
"When you're young, you learn real quick that 100 percent isn't always the best," he said. "I kind of got into a mode where my arm was feeling so good, I was letting 'er fly. And that felt good. But I wasn't getting any results."
Stammen got the results he and the Nationals wanted tonight. With eight superb innings of two-run ball, he rediscovered his top form and led Washington to a thoroughly satisfying 5-2 victory over Colorado.Read more »
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