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Video: Moore on shaky start

25

March

Rays lefthander Matt Moore's struggles to find a feel for his fastball continue.

He said it's been a problem his last few outings, and bit him again in Monday's 6-2 win over the Pirates. It took Moore 106 pitches to last just 4 2/3 innings. He did well pitching "with my back against the wall," getting out of a few jams, but walked five and gave up several two-out hits.

"I would say it's been about the same at least the last three, four times out, not consistently being there," Moore said of his feel for his fastball. "But it's there when I need it, the 2-0 counts, the 3-1s. It's gotta get better than that. But it will."

Moore walked two to load the bases with one out in the first, drawing a visit from pitching coach Jim Hickey.

"I kind of made a joke, Hickey said, 'What's going on out there? I told him I was trying to make pitches with my back against the wall,'" Moore said. "And that's really what it was about today.. it was about battling when those runners are on base."

Manager Joe Maddon isn't overly concerned, pointing out Moore feels good physically, and his velocity is there. But Maddon acknowledged that's way too many pitches for 4 2/3 innings, and that Moore is just "a little bit inconsistent."

Both Moore and Maddon appear confident he'll be fine.

"I always look at history, I've always been told he's a notoriously slow starter and that happens with some guys," Maddon said. "He's so talented, it's just a  matter of getting to that point where he can feel that release point and all of  a sudden - boom. But right now it's not. Just got to be patient."

[Last modified: Tuesday, March 26, 2013 1:48pm]

    

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