Thatcher successful against righties and lefties
BALTIMORE -- Relief pitcher Joe Thatcher fully understands and even embraces his role as a left-handed specialist, but there are times when he wouldn't mind a different title.
"I think I'm more than just a lefty specialist," Thatcher said.
In a relatively small sample-size this season, Thatcher has actually pitched more like a right-handed specialist -- with right-handers hitting .250 (6-for-24) and lefties hitting .350 (7-for-22) off him.
"I take pride in getting righties out, too," said Thatcher, who has a 1.69 ERA in 17 appearances. "My job is still to get lefties out, and I feel like when I've been brought in to face one, I've been able to do that. But a few hits are just falling in or sneaking through the infield."
Going into Tuesday's game against the Orioles, Thatcher had not allowed a run in his last 9 2/3 innings, and he held opponents scoreless in 16 of his 17 appearances this season. The only runs he allowed came on April 7 against the Rockies at Coors Field.
For his career, Thatcher has held lefties to a .217 average in 339 at-bats. Thatcher has fared relatively well when facing righties (.268 average in 430 at-bats).
Why so many righties?
"A lot of times, they bring me in to face a lefty, and the other team will bring in a righty," Thatcher said.