WASHINGTON -- Apparently a full Spring Training of work is not necessary for a veteran hurler such as Jesse Crain at this point in his career. Crain was limited to four exhibition appearances, including three in the last week, because of a strained right adductor muscle.
Crain did enough in that final week to break camp with the team and fanned four over three scoreless innings during his first four regular-season appearances.
"I didn't really want to cut it that close. But maybe I figured something out," said Crain with a laugh. "Maybe I don't need to throw too much during spring and waste all my bullets. I don't ever want to have to go through an injury, but I'll talk to [pitching coach Don Cooper] if I'm here next year about scheduling.
"We've been playing for a long time and every year you kind of learn how your body is. This Spring Training, the last Spring Training, they showed me a lot about what I needed. This Spring Training showed me even more about it. I know myself better now than I did when I was younger. I think that always helps, too."
Being more consistent with his mechanics also makes a difference for the 10-year-veteran.
"My delivery, if I fly open, I know what I'm doing," Crain said. "So far it has worked out pretty good. I'm still just maintaining [the adductor] right now. But it hasn't bothered me one bit. Pitching in that cold weather [in Chicago] and I got through that. I feel great."
Crain's scoreless streak ended during Thursday's 7-4 loss to the Nationals when he allowed one run on two hits in the eighth inning.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.