When Brett Lorin is on the mound, the opponent's scorecard often gets filled in with goose eggs. Lorin, 27, a righthanded reliever who stands a menacing 6-7, allowed his first earned run Saturday. But in 191/3 innings spread out over 16 games for the Ducks, he has allowed 13 hits and four walks, striking out 14. His ERA is 0.47.
Lorin spent the previous six seasons in affiliated baseball, most recently in the Diamondbacks' organization. He also spent time in the minors with the Pirates and Mariners, who drafted him in the fifth round in 2008. In 138 affiliated appearances, including 81 starts, Lorin was 26-28 with a 3.72 ERA.
Lorin played for Team Israel during the 2012 World Baseball Classic qualifiers. The team was managed by current Tigers manager Brad Ausmus.
You've been almost perfect this season. Has it felt easy?
No. You still have to go out and pitch. There's a lot of talent in this league. My numbers might reflect success, but I still have to make pitches. You have to feel good when you're out there and you have to compete. It's definitely not easy.
Why do you think you've been so successful?
It's just the way I've been attacking the hitters, being aggressive, having confidence in my stuff, and just going out and pitching. I'm not caring about results and [I'm] just taking it day by day . . . It doesn't matter who comes up there, I'm just going to pitch the way I pitch. I'm going to cater to their weaknesses, if we know what they are. But if we don't, I just have to go out there and compete with whatever stuff I have that day.
What is the strength of the Ducks' bullpen?
We just attack. We all have the same mentality. We're going to keep the games close and give our hitters a chance. We're going to stop the other team from scoring, do our best and compete. We're going to give our offense a chance to win every single game.
Lately, you've been pitching more than one inning per outing. Is that something you're comfortable with?
I was a starter for most of my career, so I've had a lot of experience. I've been in almost every role there is in baseball, pitchingwise. I can do all of them. It just depends on what they need from me. I like being a reliever. I think that's where I'm most comfortable. I think that's my ticket back to Major League Baseball. But whatever they need me to do, I'm going to do it.
You've played at a lot of different levels of affiliated baseball. What level is the Atlantic League closest to?
It's hard to say. We have guys that have played rookie ball and guys who have had big-league time. It's a mix. Sometimes it's AA and AAA. Sometimes it's lower. It depends on the team. But most guys have a lot of upper-level experience in this league. A lot of guys in this league should still have jobs right now.
What was playing for Team Israel during the 2012 WBC qualifiers like?
Baseball-wise, it was the best experience of my life. It was awesome. I got to play with a lot of Jewish-American baseball players. We all forgot about our personal stuff and checked our egos at the door. We wanted to make it for the country. It was the most unique 10 days of my baseball career . . . We never got to go to Israel. We just went to Florida for the qualifier. Unfortunately, we didn't make it out of the tournament, but it was a great experience.