Pirates' reliever Grilli enjoying breakout season at 35



Pittsburgh Pirates reliever Jason Grilli insists he's not throwing any differently than he has at any point in his nomadic career.

Maybe, but the results are certainly different.

The 35-year-old setup man has been the linchpin for one of baseball's better bullpens. Working almost exclusively in the eighth inning, Grilli is 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA in 21 games while developing into a strikeout pitcher.

Grilli has fanned at least one batter in all but one of his appearances this season, and his strikeouts per nine innings ratio is a staggering 15.8, nearly six above his career average. It's heady territory for a player the Pirates claimed off the scrap heap last season.

The former first-round pick says he believes his best days are ahead of him and says being humbled as a young player was a gift.