Mercker Takes Blame for Poor Performance
Seifert, Kevin, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)
BALTIMORE - It didn't take long for Kent Mercker to feel the repercussions of his dismal performance Tuesday night. Mercker surrendered six runs on four homers in three innings in a 7-0 loss to the Texas Rangers, and manager Davey Johnson yesterday sent Mercker to the bullpen and elevated Rick Krivda to a full-time starter.
"I'd like to start [Mercker], but the way he's pitching right now he's not helping us," Johnson said.
Mercker said he has once again lost velocity on his fastball, and that it was moving only about 80 mph against the Rangers. Consequently, his changeup and fastball have become close to the same pitch, making it easier for hitters to time their swings.
Mercker believes that he knows the cause of his problem - a weakened muscle behind his shoulder near the rotator cuff - and has been working on exercises designed to strengthen the area. …