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Another no-decision for Adenhart

May 07, 2008|By BOB PARASILITI

Like love, Nick Adenhart believed pitching in the majors would be better the second time around.

And since the Williamsport graduate loves to pitch, that makes it all the better.

Yet as Adenhart approached his second career major league start on Tuesday, he said things would go much better if he just remembered all the little things that got him in a Los Angeles Angels uniform in the first place.

Basically, Adenhart spent the five days after his debut last Thursday against Oakland trying to learn everything he already knew before he stepped on the mound at Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium against the Royals.

"I got back into a routine," Adenhart said. "Everything here moves so quickly, so I'm trying to adjust. I'm trying to do everything right on the field and everything right off the field. The whole focus is in between the lines on the field."

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Adenhart took Tuesday's start with his usual amount of rest. This time there was no hurrying or hoopla like his first outing, which came four days after his previous start with Triple-A Salt Lake, an eight-inning stint.

The first start wasn't as glorious as the 21-year-old right-hander went two-plus innings, walked five and allowed five runs but didn't figure in the decision in a 15-8 loss to the A's.

"When things started going bad, I got away from the things I do," said Adenhart via telephone after having lunch on Tuesday before his start. "I have been having problems with walks and when I walked the first guy, I pitched trying not to walk another. I have to remember things ... things that I did subconsciously when I was in the minors."

The start against the Royals allowed Adenhart the chance to see how well he relearned those things.

Adenhart pitched 4 1/3 innings Tuesday, allowing three runs on six hits and five walks, while striking out three in the Angels' 5-3 victory. He did not factor into the decision.

Adenhart was relieved by Darren Oliver in the bottom of the fifth, with runners on first and second and one out and the Angels leading 4-3. Oliver struck out the first two Royals he faced to get out of the inning.

Adenhart left several exasperated batters glowering at plate umpire Mike Everitt, who called three third strikes and appeared to be giving the rookie a generous portion of both the inside and outside corner of the plate.

"He's still feeling for some things. He's not settled in yet," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Adenhart. "But it was definitely a start in the right direction."

The main thing Adenhart said he needed to remember is that he is the conductor of the train.

"With the speed of the game -- and the surroundings and crowds -- I have to adjust," Adenhart said. "I have the advantage because I'm the pitcher. I'm holding the ball and nothing happens until I make it happen. I can slow the game down or speed it up. As a pitcher, the game starts and stops with you."

Adenhart is relying on his between-starts routine to get him ready to pitch. It is a matter of taking in the scene.

"Just getting to watch a couple of games to help me get used to the crowds and the stadiums helps," he said. "I had confidence in my first start but some things just didn't go my way."

The first start left Adenhart disappointed, but there are more to come. Still, he felt like he let everyone down -- especially himself -- with his two-inning performance.

"There were so many people watching," Adenhart said. "There were high expectations and I set the bar high for myself. I'm really looking to redeem myself."

The Associated Press contributed to this story

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