Street may reclaim Rockies' closer role
Right-hander strikes out side to earn save Wednesday
DENVER -- Huston Street might have regained the Rockies' closer job on Wednesday afternoon.
Employing a biting slider, the right-handed reliever fanned all three ninth-inning batters to earn his second save in a 7-5 victory over the Padres.
Street had the ninth inning because Manuel Corpas had pitched in four of the previous five games. All that work didn't help the command of Corpas, whom manager Clint Hurdle announced as Street's replacement as closer on April 17. Meanwhile, Street has been gradually finding his rhythm.
Hurdle made no postgame announcement, but said what he usually says when he's contemplating a major decision -- that he wanted to talk to the players involved first.
"I'll sleep on some things" before that, Hurdle said.
Street has appeared in five of the past six games. But he was efficient in the previous outings.
"I wouldn't have minded a day off today, I'll be honest," Street said. "I had limited pitch counts. That's why I was able to go today."
Street dispensed of Kevin Kouzmanoff, Edgar Gonzalez and Henry Blanco in 15 pitches, 12 of them strikes.
The difference, Street said, is pitching coach Bob Apodaca convinced him to move to the third-base side of the pitching rubber. It's just a few inches, since he is a few inches from the end of the rubber, but it's huge.
Street said he fought Apodaca, who first broached the idea in Spring Training, because he would be seeing the catcher's mitt from a new angle.
But he put it to a vote of his catchers, Chris Iannetta and Yorvit Torrealba. They felt the move helped the ball come out of his hand better. Street took his disagreement to the highest authority he knows -- his father, James Street, who is a former University of Texas pitching star, like his son.
"I told him about it, and it was not a pleasant conversation, from my point of view, the first time," Street said. "And he argued against me."
Street said his pitch action is better, and he thinks it could help him stay healthier. He fought a hip flexor injury last season with the Athletics, who sent him to the Rockies this offseason as part of the package for outfielder Matt Holliday. He had quadriceps issues in Spring Training with the Rockies.
Street said sometimes he has to trust others.
"The last time someone wanted to make a major adjustment with me was in college, [former Longhorns pitching coach] Frank Anderson, when he wanted to lower my arm angle," Street said. "It came off pretty well. I really think 'Dac' [Apodaca] put a lot of thought into it, and he wouldn't be saying it if it didn't help me."
The advice might end up helping Street regain his job.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.