Nats’ Treinen has act together on mound

By Bill Ladson

WASHINGTON — Nationals reliever Blake Treinen has been virtually unhittable since returning from Triple-A Syracuse on Aug. 6. Since his return, Treinen has pitched nine shutout innings with 10 strikeouts.

The key, according to Treinen, has been staying aggressive in the strike zone, thanks to his 98-mph slider. Getting ahead of hitters also has played a role in his success.

Before he went to the Minor Leagues, Treinen had mixed results with the slider. There were days when it would be sharp and breaking in the inner and outer half of the plate and other days when it would act like a slurvy pitch and stay up in the strike zone. Against the Dodgers on July 19 at Nationals Park, he pitched one-third of an inning and allowed four runs, and was sent to the Minors after the game.

Looking back, Treinen said going to Syracuse was a blessing in disguise.

“Everybody is going to be frustrated when they are told they are going down. But looking back, it was all part of a plan and a purpose for my career,” Treinen said. “The Nationals saw something that needed to be fixed. You have to adjust yourself with the right mindset.

“I was fortunate to get myself in the right mindset to go down and work on things. I know I have been given an opportunity and privilege to be up here. I don’t want to squander it by being pigheaded and not trying to make adjustments. Obviously something wasn’t working. I feel really blessed to have an opportunity to be back with this club.”

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