Rauch figuring it out

In his last 12 appearances, D-backs reliever Jon Rauch has allowed just two earned runs in 13 1/3 innings.

That’s a 1.35 ERA, quite a contrast to before that stretch when he had a 7.23 ERA.

I asked Rauch on Thursday what has been the difference.

“Just started throwing strikes,” he said.

Of course, it’s more complicated than that or it would not have taken him such a long period of time to get himself right.

“I think a lot of it was mechanics,” Rauch said. “Confidence also played into it. Obviously the more you get out and do something you better you become at it. It was a matter of getting back into the swing of the season and try not to put pressure on myself like I did at the end of last season. There was a lot that went into it.”

Rauch is reaping the rewards of it now. Once used in mop up roles, Rauch has begun to be used more in the eighth inning with the struggles of Tony Pena.

“It wasn’t that I didn’t believe in myself but more wondering why I kept messing up,” he said. “I think that was the biggest part because you dig yourself into a hole where you’re so down on yourself that every time you go out to pitch you’re not mentally prepared for it. You automatically think you’re going to do bad so inevitably you do bad vs. having a couple of good outings and then putting a string together and you go that’s how you do it, that’s what it’s like. You remember the good things that you can do and then you go out and do it.”

Simple, but clearly not easy.

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