KANSAS CITY -- Jamie Walker knows he's one of the leaders in the bullpen. He always wants to stay positive and keep a smile.
In the past few days, that's been hard to do. Walker said he had to put on a fake smile on Saturday night, and with good reason. He couldn't hold a runner on Friday against the Royals in one-third of an inning and allowed a run and three hits without recording an out on Saturday.
"I'm mad at myself, obviously," Walker said, "but the thing is, we won the game. But yeah, I beat myself up pretty good last night."
Walker is the type of pitcher who always wants to get the batters to hit. He rarely walks anyone. But by doing that, he takes the risk of throwing pitches that hitters can connect with easily. That's exactly what's been happening lately.
"I don't think it's ever a matter of confidence with that guy," manager Dave Trembley said. "He's been around the block way too much for that to affect him. He's just getting too much of the plate, and the guys are hitting it. He'll rectify it."
Walker is working on getting his pitches down. He's not going to let his recent troubles alter his approach.
"I've still got the same swagger out there," he said. "I'm not going to drop my head."
Mark Dent is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.