For left-hander Tim Berry, it seems the power of positive thinking is just as important as the power of a well located fastball.
After a very solid 2013 season with Single-A Frederick and a very strong Arizona Fall League, Berry is off to a great start in his first year with Double-A Bowie.
He got another no decision Thursday night, but went six innings giving up just five hits and one run. Berry has an ERA of 1.00 over three starts to rank sixth in the Eastern League. Over 18 innings he has given up 14 hits and three runs (two earned) with five walks and 15 strikeouts.
He's making the Orioles decision to add him to the 40-man roster in November look like a smart one.
Berry's fastball can touch 94 mph and he has a good curveball and solid changeup too. The stuff is good, but he also credits a positive attitude and being solid with the mental part of the game for helping him as well.
"It's 99 percent of it for me right now," Berry said recently. "I don't know why that is. I feel like my mechanics are solid and repeatable. When they don't repeat, it's usually due to something that happened in your mind before you started the pitch.
"Sure, your mechanics break down. But do you go for your mechanics and try to change them or do you look at what caused that change? Just kind of having trust in your pitches and being in the moment helps you feel the flow of the game and let what you have worked on happen out on the field."
Berry said that attitude and outlook gives him confidence.
"Yeah, absolutely," he said. "The whole point is to take away thoughts that cause anxiety. You say 'I want to have a good ERA this year.' That puts a lot on you and disrupts your game. I just want to play baseball, that is what I'm good at and let everything else fall where it will."
Berry was at major league spring camp this year. In two O's exhibition games he pitched three innings, giving up two hits and one run with no walks and three strikeouts. He threw two shutout innings March 8 against Boston.
He's off a strong start with Bowie using quality pitches and a quality attitude.
Elsewhere in the minors: Triple-A Norfolk has started 4-10. The Tides have scored just 47 runs in 14 games. T.J. McFarland made the start last night and gave up two earned runs over 5 2/3 innings. He has an ERA of 1.84. Eddie Gamboa is tied for the league lead with 21 strikeouts.
Akron beat Double-A Bowie 3-2 on Thursday. The Baysox are 8-6 and Bowie has three of the league's top 10 hitters right now. Garabez Rosa is seventh batting .385 with Niuman Romero eighth at .372 and Buck Britton 10th at .361. Rosa leads the Eastern League with 14 RBIs and Bowie's Dariel Alvarez is second with 12. Britton leads the league with 22 hits.
Single-A Frederick won 7-3 at Winston-Salem last night to sweep that series and improve to 6-8. Adrian Marin had two hits and two RBIs. This was the Keys' first three-game road sweep since April of last year.
Delmarva's recent run of good pitching continued last night as the Single-A Shorebirds won 3-1 at Greensboro. Starter Steven Brault pitched seven shutout innings with nine strikeouts.
The Shorebirds' 29-inning shutout streak ended in the eighth last night. But Delmarva has given up just one run over its last 31 innings, and three over the last three games spanning 33 innings. The Shorebirds recorded seven shutout innings to end Monday's game and then were rained out Tuesday. They won 1-0 in 15 innings Wednesday and took a shutout into the eighth last night. Delmarva got to the .500 mark at 7-7 with last night's win.