NEW YORK -- Jonny Venters hopes he hit rock bottom when he allowed Alex Rodriguez's game-tying grand slam in a June 12 loss to the Yankees. The Braves left-handed reliever has since recorded four consecutive scoreless appearances.
But he still does not feel as comfortable as he did last year, when he earned his first All-Star selection.
"When you get out of whack, it takes time to get back to where you need to be," Venters said. "It's not something that happens overnight."
One night after allowing Rodriguez's slam, Venters entered a one-run game to face Robinson Cano with two on and two outs in the eighth inning. He received a much-needed boost when he struck out Cano and saw his confidence further strengthened on Tuesday night, when he did not allow a run after the Yankees put two on with nobody out in the seventh inning.
"I don't remember the last time I got in trouble like that and didn't give it up," Venters said. "I used to be pretty good at it."
When asked whether he has felt different on a day-to-day basis this year, Venters laughed and said, "sometimes it's more like on a pitch-to-pitch basis.