May 02, 2007

Heilman Tries To Move Forward

Marty Noble at, writes about Aaron Heilman and how he's trying to overcome a beginning of the season pitching slump:

"We were going to win that game ... probably," Heilman said. "But I took us out of it. All we needed was a clean inning. ... We had two, three, four [David Wright, Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado] coming up in the bottom of the inning. If it's 3-2, there's a lot more pressure on [the Marlins]. [A 5-2 score] is completely different."

This one wore on Heilman more than the home run he surrendered nine days earlier to Kelly Johnson of the Braves. That one made him the losing pitcher. This one was worse if only because it extended his rap sheet.

"Probably, that's the reason," Heilman said, his face twisted.

The rap sheet includes the loss to the Braves two Sundays ago, and another to Atlanta two weeks earlier. And there have been too many fly balls, and that grab Jose Valentin made in St. Louis on Opening Night that turned runs into a double play that spared Heilman.

His pitches are up, and so is his ERA -- 4.09 -- and his number of fly balls. He averaged 1.31 ground-ball outs for every fly-ball out last season. In 11 appearances and 11 innings this season, the ratio is .77 ground-ball outs to one fly out.

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