Storen Picking Up Speed
Drew Storen was happy to get his first save of the Arizona Fall League under his belt Wednesday night in Mesa, although the inning started with a double that just dropped into shallow left field. Storen got the next three batters on a strike and two popups.
"It was fun to just get out there and pitch again," he said. "If you throw up a zero and get a save in this league there's no complaints. Faced some good hitters, thought I was throwing hard. I'm working on getting quicker to the plate out of the stretch. I was able to apply some things I worked on in instructs [instructional league].
Paul Menhart, who coached Storen this summer during his stint at Class A Potomac, said that each of the four Nats pitchers have a to-do list for the AFL. Storen's is his speed.
"With Storen it's making sure he can control the running game," Menhart said. "He's a little slow right now, we're going to try to speed him up while maintaining his stuff."
Before Wednesday's game, Storen played catch in warm-ups with fellow pitcher Stephen Strasburg. It became clear as the game went along that each was trying to show the other some blazing speed. Strasburg was standing along the left field warning track and Storen kept backing further and further until he was practically at the right-center field wall.
"That's always our style playing catch," Storen said. "He kept blowing me up because I am not used to catching a guy that throws that hard. It turned into kind of a fastball contest."
Storen is an extrovert who never met a stranger. Strasburg is much more of an introvert. But despite their different personalities, they clearly enjoy each other's company.
"I love playing catch with him," Storen said, laughing. "He breaks in my glove and leaves bruises on my hand."
Storen's a card, and here's some good news: He'll start doing a blog for nationals.com very soon. If you follow him on Twitter, you know he'll do a fun blog.
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