"I probably dreamed it up, to tell you the truth," Sheets cracked. "I really don't know. ... I've never been one to pick up a pitch and be able to throw it. I've thrown the same pitches all my life."Sheets held San Francisco scoreless in the first inning and retired the first hitter he faced in the second before Giants catcher Eliezer Alfonzo sparked the rally with a single. Sheets got help two batters later when Brewers center fielder Mike Cameron threw out Alfonzo at the plate, but Dave Roberts followed with an RBI single and Fred Lewis and Aaron Rowand drove in two runs apiece before Sheets escaped the inning. He recovered in the third inning, retiring the Giants' Nos. 7-9 hitters in order with two strikeouts. "I felt stronger today," Sheets said. "The results were by far the worst, but I had a big, long inning and still felt good at the end of the inning." His curveball is there, so much so that Sheets is trying to avoid throwing it too much to National League hitters. Instead, he's working on locating his fastball, something he hadn't done at times in the second inning Tuesday. "That's what happens when you fall behind to big league hitters," Sheets said. But at least it's happening in Spring Training, which Sheets knows as well as anyone is not an indication of the season to come. He feels his worst spring was 2004, but that turned into his best regular season, when Sheets pitched 237 innings and ranked second in the National League with 264 strikeouts and third in the league with a 2.70 ERA. Still, getting knocked around Tuesday was no walk in the park. "It ain't no fun," Sheets said. "There's nothing fun about it."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.