SAN ANTONIO -- Joe Saunders says he isn't worried about results, especially at the strange confines of Alamodome. If that means he'll be able to forget about them, that's a good thing for him.
But the time for worrying about results starts next week. That's when it matters. And Saunders' spring training performance since joining the Rangers -- 16 earned runs on 24 hits in 12 2/3 innings in "A" games or exhibitions (including Saturday) this spring -- isn't something pleasurable to stare at on paper.
"You can't focus on results," Saunders said. "You focus on mechanics and strikes and making your pitches. Those are fly balls. I felt good. Today's outing was more about where my arm was at and I felt good."
No doubt, some of the runs given up Saturday were ridiculous. Jesus Guzman's home run would have been a routine fly ball to right in Arlington, but with the short wall in San Antonio, there was no chance. But George Springer's straightaway center shot was a good one and the Astros got some other hard-hit balls off Saunders. His line in the finale of Big League Weekend against the Houston Astros: 4 1/3 inning pitched, eight hits, seven earned runs, two walks, sevens strikeouts.
Saunders, who took a bouncer off the back of his left knee in the first inning but stayed in, said he is over the "dead-arm" stuff that plagued him in his last start and added that he's "100 percent" and ready to go. The knee was bruised and Saunders, knowing he had to throw a bunch of pitches (he ended up at 87) wasn't coming out so close to the season.
"I like where I'm at right now," Saunders said. "I'm ready to go. I'm done with spring training."
Saunders said that, like in past springs, he had the one dead-arm start and then got some treatment, a little rest and was fine.
The 32-year-old stressed that he's more concerned about how he feels than anything else. And he says he's happy about where he is. Next week -- he's scheduled to pitch the first game of the Tampa Bay series in St. Petersburg, Fla. -- is when he'll need to show it.