Feb 26, 2013, 6:08 PM EDT
USA Today Sports Images file photo
Ryan Mattheus will be counted on to get left-handed hitters out this year.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Since arriving in the Nationals bullpen during the 2011 season, Ryan Mattheus has proven effective thanks primarily to his ability to throw sinkers down and in to right-handed hitters (down and away to lefties). It’s a formula that’s worked well for Mattheus, who in 101 career appearances owns a 2.84 ERA and only 7.6 hits allowed per nine innings.
But the 29-year-old understands this is a game of adjustments, and the longer he’s in the big leagues, the more opposing hitters will adjust to his pitching patterns.
So Mattheus is making a point this spring to add something new to his repertoire: A sinker on the other corner of the strike zone.
“I mean, that’s the thing I have to attribute all my success so far in the big leagues to: the good sinker,” he said. “But the more times guys start to see me, they’re going to get onto that pattern. So I’m trying to establish more both sides of the plate this year, because I don’t spin the ball very well [throwing breaking balls]. We tried that coming in last year, that experience is over. I’m going to have to command both sides of the plate with the fastball.”
NL EAST STANDINGS
Through Friday's games
NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Friday's games
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
Follow us on Twitter
- Zimmerman begins race to get ready for October
- Zimmerman's back as Nationals face Marlins
- The Baseball Show: Are Nats favorites in National League? (VIDEO)
- Nats rolling and about to become complete
- Fister, Nats do enough right to get by Marlins
- Zimmerman rejoining Nats, likely to play Saturday
- Fister seeks win No. 15 tonight in Miami
- His thumb healthy, Harper tearing it up at plate
- Gonzalez makes case for postseason start
- Bryce, Gio continue late-season surge in 6-2 win