LOS ANGELES -- Cory Luebke's first start of the season on April 6 certainly didn't go the way he wanted it go, as the Padres left-hander allowed five earned runs in 4 2/3 innings.
Contributing to that rough start was the fact that Luebke's changeup -- a pitch that figures to be of great importance to him in 2012 -- essentially deserted him that day.
"That was frustrating because it was a pitch I worked on a lot in the offseason and then during Spring Training," Luebke said. "Then to go out your first day and not find it ... that was frustrating."
Luebke said he only threw four or five changeups in that first start against the Dodgers. He then threw what he estimates were "15 to 20 of them" in his last start against the D-backs on April 11 and fared considerably better.
Luebke allowed one earned run on four hits in 5 1/3 innings in a no-decision of a game the Padres went on to win, 2-1.
"I think [catcher Nick Hundley] put it down in counts where we really haven't used it before," Luebke said. "Behind in the count, we doubled up on it a few times. I was glad that he put it down."