Home Sports A’s Liam Hendriks feels his struggles not far from being solved

A’s Liam Hendriks feels his struggles not far from being solved

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			A’s Liam Hendriks feels his struggles not far from being solved

OAKLAND – The temptation is to look at the rotten start Liam Hendriks has gotten off to this season and chalk it up to just another angst-filled April for the A’s right-handed reliever.

Manager Bob Melvin sees it that way, saying that he knows Hendriks, who allowed two runs in the ninth inning Monday to inflate his ERA to 11.57, will get it going before too much longer.

After all, on this date last season his ERA was 10.50 and as late as May 7 it was sitting at 8.27. Then he went on the disabled list with a strained right triceps.

From the time he came back, however, he was lights out, posting a 2.23 ERA in his final 42 games redeeming himself in his own eyes and in the team’s.

Hendriks says his current start is nothing like the one he had last year. And he means that in a good way.

“Last year my fastball was off and my curve was in the dirt all the time in April,” he said before Tuesday’s game. “The location was just off every time I went out there. It wasn’t good.

“I don’t feel like that at all this year. Now I can throw a two-strike breaking ball and I can throw the fastball where I want to,” he said. “The numbers don’t look good, but it’s not like they’re crushing the ball off me. I just need to make some minor alterations that things will be fine.”

Hendriks is pleased that he’s not struggling to find his pitches. He says as long as he has the pitches, he knows things will turn around for him.

“I’m getting a fair amount of swings and misses on my fastball,” he said. “So I know that my fastball is there. I’m not far away.”

He walked the first two batters he faced in the ninth inning Monday, something he only did once last year, also against Texas.

“I threw a good pitch 3-2 to the first guy (Jurickson Profar) I faced,” Hendriks said. “I didn’t get the call. That happens. If I do get the call, then I’m facing Carlos Gomez with one out and no one on base, and I think the inning’s all different.

“I know the pitches are there. It’ll get better; I know that.”

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