ATLANTA -- Jair Jurrjens regained the velocity that he lacked during his forgettable start against the Padres on April 12. But after completing eight strong innings during Sunday's 4-3 win over the Rockies, Jurrjens was much more encouraged about the fact that he had regained a feel for his changeup.
"The velocity is back," Jurrjens said. "I know everybody was worried about that. The thing I'm happier about is that I got my changeup back. The last two starts, I didn't have my changeup at all. Today, it felt like it was coming back. I just need to keep working on it and have a better start the next time out."
While allowing a career-high eight earned runs in just 3 1/3 innings against the Padres, Jurrjens couldn't command his changeup and found his fastball resting between 87-89 mph. This caused reason to wonder if he was bothered by his right shoulder, which had been inflamed at the beginning of Spring Training.
But while limiting the Rockies to three runs during Sunday's 108-pitch effort, Jurrjens quieted these concerns. His fastball rested between 90-92 mph and he touched 94 mph with his second-to-last pitch.
Braves manager Bobby Cox revealed that some of Jurrjens' early-season struggles could have been a product of the fact that he had bruised his right hand when he got jammed during an at-bat in Spring Training.
When asked how this affected him, Jurrjens said, "It affected everything."
Then when asked why he hadn't revealed this ailment earlier, he said, "I don't want to go out there to pitch with any excuses. If I'm out there, then I'm ready to pitch."