Treinen seizes opportunity to become fireman out of Nats 'pen

Blake Treinen has been through his ups and down over the last two years, offering the Nationals glimpses of his abilities out of the bullpen but too often balancing those out with prolonged periods of inconsistency that left his role undefined.

If the last three months are a sign, though, the right-hander may have at last found his place, and the Nats couldn't be happier to have it happen.

Over a span of 35 appearances that dates back to May 15, Treinen has posted an 0.84 ERA, allowing just three earned runs and 22 hits over 32 1/3 innings. For the season, his ERA is now down to 1.90.

blake-treinen-sidebar.pngSo what has the difference been?

"Getting outs," he said with a laugh. "That's the good thing. Try to keep it simple, not try to think about why I'm having success too much, or why I had a lack of success in situations. I think the biggest thing is to continue to keep my head down and trust what's been working for me."

There is, of course, more to it than that. What has been working for Treinen is what makes him particularly well-suited to be counted upon as the new fireman of the Nationals bullpen, the guy manager Dusty Baker can summon to pitch out of a tight jam.

Treinen's heavy sinker, which he throws in the upper 90s, is the perfect pitch to induce ground balls. And the majority of his success has come on just such pitches and results.

Treinen has induced 12 double plays this season, tops among all major league relievers.

"I've been blessed with a sinker, and it makes sense to bring a guy in that doesn't necessarily have to be perfect with it," he said. "Being aggressive with that pitch has really helped us out as a team. It's helped me with confidence, and seeing the results this year has probably been a reason why (Baker) has called on me. Whenever you can get a ground ball with guys on base and get two, it always helps."

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