Feldman's 'incredible' stretch continues

Feldman's 'incredible' stretch continues

May 18, 2013, 3:00 pm
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Alex Ruppenthal

Scott Feldman won Saturday for the fourth time in five starts as the Cubs beat the Mets 8-2 in front of 38,756 at Wrigley Field. Feldman, who is 4-3 with a 2.19 ERA, pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings and drove in two with a fourth-inning double, which he can't explain as well as his pitching.

"I think it was a fastball," he said. "I couldn't tell you for sure. Got two strikes, tried to shorten up and tried to at least put the ball in play. Somehow -- I don't know -- I got the barrel on it and it fell for a hit."

Anthony Rizzo and Nate Schierholtz hit solo homers, and the Mets (16-24) didn't score until Rick Ankiel's two-run homer off Hector Rondon in the ninth. Feldman might have pitched deeper into the game had he thrown fewer pitches – he threw 109, more than he should have, Sveum said, because of a second-inning error by Starlin Castro.

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"His last five starts he's been as good anybody in baseball," Sveum said.

Second only to Travis Wood (2.03 ERA) among the team's starters in terms of ERA, Feldman said he feels a lot better mechanically than he did in spring training.

"He's not letting left-handers beat him for one," Sveum said. "His cutter's been incredible, where he's been able to locate it and get it in on their hands and keep left-handed hitters from getting extended. He's able to bounce his curveball when he has to, throw it for a strike early in the count. I mean, everything's working."

[WATCH: Feldman sheds some light on keys to his recent success]

During his recent hot stretch, the easygoing right-hander has pitched "low-stress," as Sveum calls it.

"It doesn't seem like there's a whole lot of opportunity for the other team to score other than solo homers," Sveum said. "It's been impressive."

With Matt Garza joining the rotation Tuesday in Pittsburgh, the Cubs' (18-24) strong rotation might get even better.

[RELATED: Sveum announces Garza's return date, changes in rotation]

"These guys keep throwing the ball the way they have the first six weeks…once [Garza] gets settled in, it's got a chance of being a pretty nice -- if not one of the top -- rotations in the league right now," Sveum said.

Feldman was asked if Garza will benefit from the rotation's strong start.

[WATCH: Hollandsworth says Cubs could have one of the top rotations in NL with Garza]

"Whoever wants to feed off whoever, that's always a good thing," he said.

Rizzo hitting lefties

Anthony Rizzo hit .208 against left-handers last season. This year, he's hitting .315.

[WATCH -- Rizzo on win: It's an awesome; A good feeling]

The Cubs' lefty first baseman homered Saturday against Mets left-hander Robert Carson, his fourth long ball off a southpaw this season.

"I'm just seeing them better," Rizzo said. "I think it was more of a mental thing. When you struggle left-on-left, they still have to throw the ball over the plate, just [at] different arm slots. You have to adjust your eyes a little bit."