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Thursday, September 15, 2011
Schwinden handles nerves better, still loses

By Matt Ehalt

The nerves didn't affect Chris Schwinden as much this time.

After admitting to being nervous in his first major league start last Thursday against the Atlanta Braves, the rookie had better control of his nerves in his second outing, against Washington.

"Just went out there and the nerves weren't there as much and just tried to go after them early in the count and induce contact early and, for the most part, I did that," Schwinden said.

While the nerves didn't affect him, Schwinden ultimately ended up with another loss after giving up two runs in five innings in the Mets' 10-1 loss to the Nationals. He gave up four hits and struck out three in 79 pitches as he fell to 0-2 with a 6.30 ERA.

"Just realizing they're just another hitter and just went out there and tried to throw strikes and, for the most part, I did that," Schwinden said of a difference in his second start compared with his major league debut.

While he picked up the loss, Schwinden pitched well. He put runners on in four of the five innings he pitched, but worked around trouble for the most part. In the fifth inning, the Nationals got to him for two runs, although only one was earned.

Schwinden said he felt fine physically after his start. He has thrown the most innings of his career this year, and is grateful that the Mets are giving him more starts to show case himself for the future. Schwinden will remain in the rotation for the final two weeks over Miguel Batista, Terry Collins has indicated.

"Very appreciative," Schwinden said. "Not a lot of opportunities since I've been here, but I try to take today and go out there and try to show these guys what I can do and hopefully that showed them today."