Nationals wrap up series with Reds Sunday at 1:35 p.m. from Nationals Park. RHP Craig Stammen (1-2, 5.88) faces Cincinnati RHP Bronson Arroyo (5-3, 4.92).
Stammen has had a tough time in the early innings in his recent starts and has been hit hard with at least nine hits allowed in two of his last three games. He also has had some control issues with six walks in the past two starts.
Craig previewed the Reds with me on Saturday.
What is the bottom line for you in Sunday's start?
"I have to get through the first inning, that has been my biggest problem. That will be a big focus tomorrow. I will go at them with all I got."
23 hits the last three starts and 11 walks the last four road games, but only one walk at home in the last four outings, what is the difference?
"I think the product of that my last couple of starts I have been a little off mechanically. You are always going to be a little bit more comfortable at home. That is just the way it is. You can lookm at every pitchers stats and that's usually the way it works. It is good to be home, and I hope that trend continues."
Right now is is about believing your best stuff can get the guy out, right?
"It is all about trust when you are facing big league hitters. Trusting that your stuff is good enough to get them out. That will be a big factor tomorrow. It is always a big factor when you are pitching. I will go out there and do my best."
Is there a different philosophy for you when you face early in the lineup slap hitters vs. home run hitters?
"Those kind of guys you have to be down in the zone. You need some good sink on it. If they are going to slap at it they are going to slap at it somewhere. They are not going to strike out. You have to make sure they hit it on the ground and then you have a better chance of getting them out."
Steve McCatty working on different strategies with you this week?
"We worked on the some stuff every day in between these starts and made some good progress. Hopefully that translates when I go out on the mound."
Are you keeping your confidence up when you go through rough spots?
"You have to have a short memory. You are only as good as your next start as they say. You have to go after it again and be a competitor."