No worries, said Rowand.
"Regardless of how it looked, that ball was going to be caught," Rowand said.
And so Durbin has caught on with the Phillies, after being cast aside this season by three
other teams: the Twins, Diamondbacks and Red Sox. The low-risk, high-reward waiver pickup tossed a
five-hitter, besting National League All-Star starter Jake Peavy. The Phillies took three of four games in the
series and ended their West Coast road trip against two NL West powers at 4-3 -- though a Mets
come-from-behind win in Los Angeles kept the Phillies five games behind in the NL East.
Durbin had more than one runner on base in just one inning, the eighth, and allowed only
four runners beyond first base. He was helped by two inning-ending double plays.
As he did in his previous success -- a six-inning, one-run effort against Los Angeles --
Durbin credited relaxing and breathing properly between pitches, a crucial development for the max-effort pitcher.
His epiphany came while shagging flies in the outfield, at some point between his June 29
disaster start against the Mets and his Tuesday outing in Los Angeles. Veteran Jamie Moyer pulled
him aside and reminded him to not be in such a hurry.
"He told me that I control the game," Durbin said. "He said the bus doesn't leave until
you're done pitching. I took that to heart and was thinking about it. I'm not trying to throw the
ball every two seconds. It almost seems too easy. Slowing the game down is ultimately how you
So there was the suddenly deliberate Durbin, patiently getting the sign from catcher Chris
Coste, gathering himself, then rocking and firing. San Diego helped him out by swinging at a lot of
first pitches, though Durbin made quality ones.
"[Catching instructor] Mick Billmeyer told me to tell him to breathe like the lizards of the
Galapagos Islands," Coste said. "Fortunately, I didn't tell him that, because that might have
really messed him up."
PETCO Park's reputation as a supreme pitcher's park meant nothing to the NL's highest-scoring team. After being shut out by NL ERA leader Chris Young, 1-0, on Thursday, the
Phillies scored 28 runs in the next three games, pelting Justin Germano, David Wells and
Peavy, who had allowed one or fewer earned runs in 10 of his 19 starts, coughed up four for
the third time this season. As brilliant as he's been for San Diego, he couldn't shut down a team
with four players among the top 10 in on-base percentage, three in the top 10 in runs scored and
two in the top 10 in batting average.
Jimmy Rollins tagged Peavy first with a solo homer leading off the third. Shane Victorino
drove in three runs with three hits, including two doubles. Like they did Saturday night, the
Phillies ravaged the bullpen, plating five in the eighth inning to put the game out of reach.
Durbin did the rest, and helped a rotation continue a run began by him. Since getting blown
out, 10-3, on July 16, the starters have posted a 2.77 ERA in six games. Durbin started two
of those games and recorded his first two wins and his first shutout.
His outing Saturday was attended by about 15 family members and friends, including his
"I told them I was pitching the Sunday day game in San Diego," Durbin said. "I told them
not to do anything during the day. I'm glad they're all supporting me."
The Phillies are supporting him, in part out of necessity. With general manager Pat Gillick
finding limited trading partners, the team may wind up counting on Durbin and rookie Kyle
Kendrick -- who by the way, have a combined 4.01 ERA -- to complete a quintet that includes Moyer,
Cole Hamels and Adam Eaton.
If the two rookies keep pitching well, manager Charlie Manuel may relax, too.
"It makes me feel better," Manuel said. "What more can we ask of them? They're being
developed at the Major League level. That first night in L.A. [July 16] might have been one of the
ugliest games we played, as far as how we went about it. That can take some starch out of you, but we
were able to bounce back and take three out of four [from the Padres]."