Butcher likes new look for Kazmir

Butcher likes new look for Kazmir

ANAHEIM -- Angels pitching coach Mike Butcher was impressed with the way Scott Kazmir brought his new delivery into his most recent start against the Tigers, shutting them out for five innings before he was charged with two earned runs after departing after getting two outs in the sixth.

"He did that on his own," Butcher said, referring to the old-school windup Kazmir developed, bringing his arms behind his head before uncoiling, getting more deception in the process. "I really liked it. I thought he had more energy on the mound, more life."

Kazmir, who faces the Yankees' Javier Vazquez in Sunday's series finale, had always gone with the more conventional delivery, starting with his hands in front of his chest. He began working on the new windup in an effort to create more rhythm.

"I hope I remember what I did," he said, grinning. "I liked the feel of it, and hopefully it will work for me."

This is a game of constant adjustments, sometimes planned, sometimes spontaneous. High on Kazmir's agenda is relocating a missing friend: his hard-biting slider, which has not behaved as well as he'd like for several seasons. He couldn't find it when the Yanks banged him around for six runs in four innings in his season debut April 15 in New York.

"When he's on, you better hit his fastball," the Yankees' Nick Swisher said, "because you're not going to hit that other stuff. Scotty's a great pickup for those guys."