As he tries to reverse a slide, in which he has been scored on in four straight and five of his last six outings, Orioles lefty Troy Patton is going to the video. He is looking to see what he might be doing differently after a successful 2012 season out of the O’s bullpen.
Over his last four games, Patton has pitched 5 2/3, allowing nine hits, seven runs and two homers. He walked 12 batters in 55 2/3 innings last season and has already walked 12 this year in 22 2/3.
“I’m not happy with my performance,” Patton said this afternoon in the Orioles clubhouse. “But I’m working on things and it’s not through any lack of effort. I just have not executed certain pitches and let some things snowball, where I was able to minimize damage in the past. That is really all that is happening.
“We’ve been looking at some film from last year because things went well last season, and I had good results. Just looking at things I might have changed and then I just need to get my fastball to where I want it to go. Working on different things to get my arm where I can consistently throw the pitches where I want to.”
Patton had a WHIP of 1.024 last year. Now, it is 1.632, and lefty batters are hitting .333 with three homers off him. He feels it all starts with better command of his fastball.
“I think all of them are tied in together, the slider is the same situation, but if the fastball is fixed, the rest of it falls into place,” he said. “The arm action needs to be repeated the same way every time, and right now I am not doing that as well as I know I can. Need to repeat mechanics more than I have in the past.”
Patton has even thrown some bullpen sessions recently, which can be unusual for some relievers, who can’t throw too many side sessions because they know they might be needed in the game that night. Where a starter throws in the bullpen between starts, a reliever may not. Patton said he had just one bullpen session all last year, but he’s had a few recently to try and get that command back.