ATLANTA -- After reviewing the video of left-hander Mike Minor's fourth straight shaky start in Wednesday's 8-4 loss to the Marlins, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said the problem seemed to be a loss of control by Minor in the fourth inning.
Minor breezed through the first three innings against the Marlins, retiring nine of the 10 batters he faced. In the fourth and fifth innings, however, he gave up six runs and got just five outs. Gonzalez said Minor was often missing catcher Brian McCann's target by a wide margin.
"That's something Roger [McDowell] and Mike will sit down and maybe next bullpen session try and iron that out," Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez's analysis fit with Minor's own explanation from Wednesday night. Minor said he lost feel for his secondary pitches after the third inning, often throwing them in the dirt. He tried to compensate, but that proved to play into the hands of the Marlins hitters, who were sitting on his fastball.
"My fastball -- I started throwing a lot more just to get a strike," Minor said. "Everything else was down, down, down, down. So I was compounding that with trying to get the ball up. That's belt high for them, and they put the bat on the ball."
Pitch f/x showed the percentage of strikes Minor was throwing didn't decrease in the fourth and fifth innings. Rather the Marlins were doing a better job executing against Minor.
Gonzalez said he thinks the problem is probably with Minor's mechanics, though the issue hasn't been pinpointed.
"I tend to think it's just a little bit of a mechanical breakdown, because the young man is as solid as they come," Gonzalez said.