There's a difference between process and results.
Chris Rowley's outing for the Buffalo Bisons on Thursday is a case in point.
The right-handed pitcher had his best outing on the mound in terms of execution of pitches and command of the strike zone. But he didn't get a corresponding result as the Bisons fell to the Durham Bulls, 3-1, at Coca-Cola Field.
"I try to keep a good balance between process-oriented and results-oriented," Rowley said. "I think process-wise that was the best that I've thrown. Some things didn't go our way. One big swing. It's just kind of how baseball works. In my opinion, I threw the ball as well or better than I've thrown all year and I got the loss."
Thursday was just his second loss in five starts for Buffalo. Rowley came into the game having won his last two outings, including a scoreless seven-inning, 102-pitch effort in an 8-0 win in Louisville on July 22.
Back at Coca-Cola Field against the Durham Bulls, he didn't get that level of run support, magnifying his hiccup in the fourth inning.
With one out he gave up a hit then issued his only walk of the game. That came back to bite him as Patrick Leonard worked a full count and blasted a home run off the left field pole.
"A base hit. You know that happens, but a four-pitch walk adds to it," Rowley said of that fourth inning. "Obviously you don't want that and then the one big swing. Other than that I felt comfortable. I felt I was in control for most of the game but again, it's just part of" the game.
He pitched 7 2/3 innings, giving up three runs on five hits and did pretty much everything he could to keep the Bisons in the game., throwing 103 pitches, 65 for strikes.
"Honestly just for the most part I was executing in the zone with all four pitches," Rowley said. "I had the one walk and that ended up hurting but for the most part all four pitches were in the zone and had pretty good action on them and I got guys in swing mode and as a starter that's what you want to do. You want to get as deep into games as you can get and turn it over to the bullpen."
Rowley is familiar with the bullpen. Very familiar. That has been his primary role in the Blue Jays organization -- as a reliever who can make a spot start. But since getting thrown into a starting role on July 3 with the Bisons, after Mike Bolsinger was called up to the Toronto Blue Jays, he's earned a spot in the Herd's rotation.
"It's one of those things where I barely knew who he was," Bisons manager Bobby Meacham said. "But you can see guys that have confidence and work hard and believe in what their work is going to bring to them in the game. That's what we're seeing with Rowley. He works his tail off between starts.
"That's what happens when you're confident and think you're good enough to get guys out in the strike zone. You end up pitching deep in games and usually have success. It's just about belief in yourself and trusting yourself. That's what he's doing."
Story topics: Chris Rowley