Player Journal: A tale of two pitchers

Savery making adjustments during difficult stretch at Clearwater

Joe Savery won for the first time in seven starts and lowered his ERA to 4.71 for the Threshers. (Jerry Hale/

May 13, 2008 11:00 AM

The 19th overall pick by Philadelphia in 2007, Savery posted a 2.73 ERA for Williamsport in his pro debut after earning All-American honors three times as the premier two-way player in the nation at Rice. The 22-year-old southpaw then posted a 0.64 ERA for the Peoria Saguaros in the Arizona Fall League.

Send Joe an email

Hello all. I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend and was able to spend time with family on Mother's Day. And if not, I hope everyone was able to tell all the Moms how much they are appreciated.

The season has been a tale of two different people for me. The Joe Savery who showed up to pitch in Spring Training and the first four or five starts this season is not the same one who has shown up to pitch the last few weeks. I have been disappointed with my performance lately, and it becomes even more frustrating when the numbers are broken down.

Through the first 20 innings of this season, I allowed only two runs and was off to a great start. Over the next 26 innings, I allowed 18 runs. Runs have scored in only 11 of the 46 total innings I have thrown. This is where it gets frustrating.

I have an inning in which I allowed five runs, one in which I allowed four runs and several others where I have allowed two runs. To say the least, the big inning has really hurt me so far. Without those two innings in which nine runs scored, I would have very respectable numbers.

In addition, 11 of the runs have scored in the first inning. That is just unacceptable for several reasons. It puts our team in a terrible situation. We are playing from behind before we even get to hit, and that puts a lot of pressure on our hitters. It also shows that either I am not focusing enough at the start of the game or that I need to change my game plan early on. Either way, it's not good and that is going to have to change.

Another problem has been below-average control of my pitches. I have struggled with walks at times, but even if they are not walking, I am pitching behind in the count a lot. Pitching behind in the count is going to allow the hitters to take better swings and hit with more confidence. They are able to have an offensive approach instead of a defensive one.

Despite my personal struggles, the Threshers are beginning to play a lot better. We have really started to swing the bat well as a team. I really think we will be able to make a push for a playoff spot in the second half. We have put ourselves in a tough position for the first half, but I believe we will finish much stronger than we started.

Although I wasn't able to be at home in Houston, I was able to enjoy Mother's Day as we had the day off as a team. I was able to speak with a lot of family and catch up on things. Also, I was able to go to church, which is very tough given the schedule we play. Most importantly, I was able to just relax and have a day away from the park.

Now for a question:

Richard wants to know, "What is the biggest difference between college baseball and professional baseball?"

Thanks for your question. Very simply put, there are very few similarities between college ball and pro ball. Wood bats, number of games, off days, class, mind-set, among other things, are very different. But the biggest difference for me has been my involvement, or lack thereof, on a day-to-day basis. I've always played a position in addition to pitching, and now that I am only playing once every fifth day, it has slowed things down a lot. There is a lot more time to think and a lot more watching. It is something I will continue to have to adjust to in the future.

Thanks again for taking the time to read my journal and please feel free to email me with your questions. God Bless.

Joe Savery is a pitching prospect in the Philadelphia Phillies organization and a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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