How times have changed.
The New York Mets took Scott Kazmir with their first pick in the 2002 draft, but traded him to the Tampa Bay Rays with Jose Diaz for Bartolome Fortunato and Victor Zambrano in 2004. He went on to two All-Star appearances and helped the Rays to their first American League Championship.
Now a full year removed from his stint with the independent Sugar Land Skeeters, Kazmir squared off against the Mets for the first time in his career.
On Friday night against the Mets, Kazmir scattered four hits, walked none and struck out a season high 12, touching 95mph on radar gun multiple times. On lohud.com, Kazmir commented on consistency and location.
"Getting 12 strikeouts, that’s the most I’ve gotten in a long time,” he said. “Just to be able to throw my fastball consistently in the location I wanted to, that’s something I was very pleased with.”
In his first full season since 2010, fatigue could be the reason he has faltered lately, going 0-3 over his last four starts, but according to MLB.com, increased off-day training and cryogenics could have helped him through the last few weeks.
He was asked if cryogenics gets the credit?
"Let's not go that far," Kazmir said with a laugh. "I only used it twice."
With an increase in "stretching, resistance exercises with bands, icing, compression and hot-and-cold therapy", he has been able to work his way through some tough times to get back on track and help the Indians when they need him the most.