ATLANTA -- Jair Jurrjens was visibly distraught when Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez pulled him with a two-run lead in the fifth inning of Wednesday afternoon's 14-6 win over the Mets. A couple hours later, the struggling hurler still was not masking his frustrations.
"One inning I had it and one inning I didn't," Jurrjens said. "I'm not consistent, and I'm getting a little frustrated right now. The ball is coming out good. I'm just not getting the results I want."
After working a perfect first inning, Jurrjens allowed Ike Davis to hit a 90-mph fastball over the right-center-field wall to begin the second inning. He issued three walks and allowed a David Wright double in the two-run third inning. Then after a perfect fourth, he saw his fifth-inning trouble begin with Kirk Nieuwenhuis' leadoff double.
Jurrjens has been on a downward spiral since entering last year's All-Star break with a National League-best 1.87. His troublesome right knee doomed him during the second half of the 2011 season, ultimately sidelining him in September.
Though he has continuously said the knee has not been a problem, Jurrjens has struggled since the start of Spring Training. He gave the Braves some comfort by ending the exhibition season with two solid starts against split-squad Astros clubs.
But he has posted an 8.10 ERA and seen opponents hit .362 against him over his first three starts of the season.
"I'm fighting myself and I'm trying to do too much," Jurrjens said. "I'm not really having fun. I just need to go out there, pitch my game and let my team help me."