SAN DIEGO -- Reliever Brad Brach has been markedly improved in his second stint with the Padres compared to his first go-around.
Brach has allowed no runs in five innings since the Padres recalled him from Triple-A Tucson on May 4 after they traded reliever Ernesto Frieri to the Angels.
In comparison, Brach posted a 5.06 ERA, giving up three runs in 5 1/3 innings for the Padres in April after they recalled him when starting pitcher Tim Stauffer went on the disabled list.
The difference? Brach said he's just throwing a lot of strikes. His ERA is 2.61.
"That was one of the biggest things the coaches told me when I got sent down, that I just need to throw in the zone and execute pitches," he said. "So, I've just been throwing in the zone and executing more pitches."
Brach has also noticed a spike in his velocity as he's pitched more aggressively.
"It's just been consistently 93-94 [mph] instead of 91-94 or somewhere in there," he said. "It's been a higher, more consistent velocity."