There are still four months left in the 2013 campaign, but so far, Scott Feldman has been exactly as advertised.
While Dioner Navarro was stealing the show during the Cubs' 9-3 victory over the White Sox at Wrigley Field, Feldman quietly turned in another quality start, tossing six innings, allowing just six hits and two runs. He struck out seven and did not walk a batter.
"He'll probably be the first one to say he didn't have his best stuff, but he was able to get through it and manage innings and make big pitches when he had to," manager Dale Sveum said. "When he gets into a little bit of trouble and you see maybe the wheels are coming off a little bit and then bam, the stuff or location comes back in big situations."
The wheels almost came off in the second inning after White Sox third baseman Conor Gillaspie hit a one-out single. Jeff Keppinger forced Feldman to throw 11 pitches before singling through the left side and Tyler Flowers followed with an RBI single.
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But Feldman buckled down and retired pitcher John Danks and White Sox leadoff man Alejandro De Aza to limit the damage.
When asked how he managed to escape the threat with minimal damage. Feldman said he thought back to his last outing, in which he gave up five runs and two homers to the Reds on May 24.
"I just remembered what I did wrong in Cincinnati when I gave up the crooked number there," he said. "[I wanted to] limit the damange and have confidence that if I do give up the one run, we're going to come back...I wanted to keep [the damage] as small as I could."
The front office signed Feldman last winter in the hopes he could deliver on the promise he showed when he won 17 games for the Texas Rangers in 2009.
The 30-year-old right-hander had his ups and downs his last three years in Texas, alternating between the bullpen and starting rotation.
But he's been locked in for the Cubs and has allowed two earned runs or less in eight of his last nine starts. After Wednesday's win, he improved to 5-4 on the season with a 2.82 ERA and 1.17 WHIP and has turned into one of the top starting pitching targets on the trade market.
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"It's still early in the season," Feldman said. "I feel healthy and that's really what I'm thankful for. Hopefully I can just keep going out there and taking the ball every five days and do my job."