Dusty Baker is happy to see it. Opposing hitters less so. Blake Treinen is starting to look more like 2016 Blake Treinen again.
And Baker is starting to show some faith in the soon-to-turn 29-year-old sinker-balling right-hander.
After generating five double play grounders in the first two months and 22 1⁄3 innings pitched, over which he had a 6.85 ERA and opposing hitters had a rough .351/.417/.489 line against him, Treinen has induced four double play grounders in 12 innings pitched this month, while posting a 3.00 ERA and holding hitters to a .256/.298/.395 line.
Baker has noticed. Treinen needed 14 pitches to set the Cubs’ hitters he faced down in order last night in his second game in a row on the mound after he gave up a run on three hits in a 1 1⁄3-inning outing against Chicago in Washington’s series opening loss.
“Like I said, it starts with one,” Baker told reporters last night, “then you build from there, you know, and you know Blake has the stuff, it’s just a matter of he’s finding the strike zone and when he’s loses it now, he can come back and find the strike zone.
“You’re throwing 97-98, a sinker and a slider, and he throws mostly ground balls, and you know he he was going through a rough stretch there where a lot of those ground balls were finding holes, and so it was good to bring Blake back-to-back.”
Treinen’s BABIP-against has fallen from .444 in the first month of the season to .395 in May and now .294 in June.
Opposing hitters have gone from a .370/.463/.478 line in 10 innings pitched in April (when he was and quickly wasn’t the closer) to a .320/.370/.500 line against in 12 1⁄3 innings in May down to a .250/.298/.395 line in his 12 innings so far this month.
Oh... and his sinker is doing evil things again...
Blake Treinen, 97mph Demon Sinker. pic.twitter.com/79nLTbm9Kw— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 28, 2017
Blake Treinen, Cartoon Sinker/Slider combo. pic.twitter.com/hGGArMDluE— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 28, 2017
We could just sit here and watch those all day...