Capuano: Dodgers enjoying hot start
Veteran left-hander impressed with new team's play this season
Coming into the season after Spring Training, I liked what I saw from this team. Still, I don't think you imagine that you will get off to as good a start as this team has. I don't think you really expect it, but we have had some guys who really have carried us early on.
So far, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier have been dominating at times. During those first few weeks of the year, we were really riding their coattails. You sort of sat back, and it was fun to watch.
Those guys, obviously, are not the only guys who have contributed. On the whole, we have had good pitching and defense, and for myself as a pitcher, I will never underestimate good defense. We have good defense on the whole, including some guys in the outfield who can really track the ball down.
On the mound, I feel really good. I developed a different breaking ball in Spring Training, and that has really been a big help to me. I have had some pretty good movement on my fastball -- a lot of late movement -- and I have had success with my two-seam fastball. To command four pitches and to throw them at any point in the count really helps you as a pitcher.
Physically, I feel as good as I ever have. I am 33 years old now, and I will be 34 in August, but I feel as good as I did when I was 25. I had success a few years ago before my injuries, and maybe I am down a little in velocity, but I feel like I make up that with better command. Going back to 2005, when I won 18 games and made the All-Star team one year later, I did not have the cut-fastball and the breaking ball like I have now. So, those are two new tools to help keep hitters off balance even more.
It was also during the time that I was injured that I sat back and really learned a lot by watching. As you get older in this game, you really hope you can stay healthy. As I have gotten more experience, I have not been afraid of trying different pitches and different grips. I think that has been key. I think that has been one of the fun things about baseball for myself. You don't stay the same in this game.
As a team, we are having a lot of fun. We have shown ourselves to be a resilient team. There have been times where we have gotten down early in games, but we seem to have a lot of fight in us.
Left-hander Chris Capuano is 8-2 with a 2.82 ERA in his first 12 starts as a member of the Dodgers. Capuano, who signed with Los Angeles as a free agent, missed the entire 2008 and 2009 seasons due to injury. The Dodgers lead the league in wins with 39 wins.
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