Jesse Crain is relying more on his fastball this year. AP PHOTO
Live, learn and adjust.
That explains why White Sox right-hander Jesse Crain is throwing more curveballs and fewer of his other offspeed pitches so far this season.
"Every year is different,'' said Crain, who struck out the side in his 12th straight scoreless appearance in the Sox' 6-3 win against the Mets in New York. "You face the same guys over and over so you mix things in here and there. I've thrown my curveball more than I ever have.''
Crain, 31, is in his 10th year in the major leagues. This is his third with the White Sox after spending the previous seven in Minnesota.
"You always have to make an adjustment, keep things fresh and put more things in a hitter's head,'' Crain said. "But on on the whole, I've thrown more fastballs than the last few years.''
Crain said the adductor that bothered him during spring training is "100 percent.'' He leads American League relievers with 18 appearances, owns a 1.20 ERA and hasn't allowed an earned run at home.
"In the last week or so we have the bullpen lined up [with more defined roles],'' said Crain, who will be asked to face more left-handers now that Matt Thornton is the only left in the bullpen. "It's fun to get in there a lot and hold leads.''
Crain has successfully held a Sox lead nine times.