Medders groovin' out of bullpen - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Medders groovin' out of bullpen

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Posted: Wednesday, May 24, 2006 1:07 am | Updated: 4:35 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Brandon Medders admitted to competing feelings Sunday, when he and his five-piece band were the opening act in a Tucson concert featuring country musician Billy Currington.

“Other than my first game in the big leagues, that was the biggest rush I’ve ever had in my life,’’ Medders said before adding, “I was more nervous than I was my first game in the big leagues.’’

Medders has remained unflappable on the field, recording his first victory of the season with a 1-2-3 eighth inning in a 4-3 win Monday.

Medders has been scored upon only once in his last 12 outings while dropping

his ERA to 2.65 and has joined Brandon Lyon and Luis Vizcaino among manager Bob Melvin’s options in the setup role.

“We had leaned on Vizcaino pretty hard for a while, and we are trying to give him a little bit of a blow right now,’’ Melvin said.

“We feel like (Medders) is throwing the ball where he wants to, using all his pitches. He’s at the point now when it is either a tie or plus (D-Backs have the lead) game that we have a lot of confidence in him."

Medders was recalled June 18, 2005, his first trip to the majors, and by the end of the season was paired with Tim Worrell in a setup role.

“When I know they have confidence in me, that gives me more confidence in myself,’’ said Medders, who suffered a strained muscle group in his back before spring training and missed the first 2 1/2 weeks of the season.

CREATURE OF HABIT

Brandon Webb, interviewed live on ESPN Tuesday afternoon, admitted to a few superstitions during his 7-0 start.

He said he steps on the base line between every inning, and keeps his glove and water bottle in the same place in the dugout.

Pregame meal? “IHOP,’’ he said. “Pancakes and an omelet.’’

Peter Gammons identified Webb as the early Cy Young favorite, and Webb admitted “to win that would be something special.’’

ON ONE HAND

By the fifth inning Tuesday, Kevin Jarvis was doing some stretching exercises and conditioning work in the bullpen.

Jarvis is living the long reliever’s dichotomy — the better the starting pitchers do, the less time he gets. He has not pitched in the four days since his contract was purchased from Tucson.

“You are always anxious to pitch,’’ said Jarvis, whose last outing was Thursday. “But from a team concept, that is not a good thing.’’

Jarvis, who has spent all or parts of 12 seasons in the majors, was with St. Louis for 14 days last season before spending most of the season at Triple-A Memphis.

“A little bit of time, but not enough,’’ he said. “This (majors) is a special place to play.’’

WHITE HOUSE NIGHT

Broadcaster Mark Grace said his White House dinner with President Bush on Monday was just like a night on the back porch.

“We didn’t talk politics. It was just a bunch of guys sitting around talking baseball,’’ said Grace, among a group of invitees that included John Kruk, Jon Miller and George Will.

Grace said Bush greeted him with a good line, saying, “after your background check came over, I had to pull a lot of strings to get you in.’’

SHORT HOPS

Shawn Green was given a start off Tuesday as Melvin rested another regular in preparation for a long stretch. After Thursday’s off day, the D-Backs will play 17 straight days, take June 12 off, then play another 13 straight because of the makeup game in Pittsburgh on June 19. . .

After Thursday’s off day, the D-Backs could juggle their rotation following Webb (Friday) and Juan Cruz (Saturday), especially since Orlando Hernandez had such a strong outing — seven innings, one run — on extra rest Monday.

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