As of games completed through July 25, Antonini ranked first in the Eastern League in games started with 21 and fifth in the league with 121.2 innings. His 98 strikeouts are good for second in the league, just two behind Lance Pendleton of the Trenton Thunder, and he has a 1.18 WHIP, fifth best in the league.
Unfortunately for Antonini, all of those numbers haven't translated into many wins. He has just a 6-9 record to go along with his 4.07 earned run average. Antonini has tossed 11 quality starts this year, but has a 2-4 record in those games.
One of those losses came on Sunday afternoon at NYSEG Stadium in the final game of a rain-drenched four game set with the Erie Seawolves. Antonini was superb, allowing just one run on four hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in six innings of work, but the offense didn't plate a run until the seventh inning and the team ultimately lost 4-1.
Over the course of the season, Antonini has deployed his curveball much more often, while scaling back the use of his slider, a change that has paid dividends for him.
"(The) slider wasn't being consistent for me and I went to throwing the curveball," Antonini said. "I've had good success (with it) so I just started throwing the curveball more. The slider's still there, but definitely using the curveball more."
Early in the season, Antonini switched the grip on his two-seam fastball in order to get more downward movement on it. He feels the pitch has progressed nicely.
"It's fine, it's been working out," Antonini said regarding his two-seamer. "Getting good location and good movement on the outside corner."
Antonini has proved that he can throw strikes on a consistent basis. He seldom surrenders a free pass, averaging just 1.7 walks per nine innings, something he attributes to steady repetition of his mechanics.
"I've been working on staying back, and doing that is putting me on the right track in being able to repeat my mechanics, repeat my delivery and throw more strikes. Just trying to be aggressive and keep that mindset; attack the hitters and throw strikes," Antonini said.
This is Antonini's second consecutive season spending the bulk of the time with Binghamton. Last year he was subpar, which was likely a result of a high workload combined from the 2008 season and winter ball prior to 2009.
The fatigue plagued Antonini throughout the 2009 season, and he made sure he would not have a similar experience in 2010. Antonini did not play winter ball in the off-season and is better withstanding the grind of the game this season.
"I have experience here, and working with Nickeas and Manriquez before, it's just the comfort level," Antonini said. "It's been good so far. Last year I was a little fatigued coming off of winter ball, but this year I feel fresh and I've been able to stay aggressive and that's the main thing."
Antonini is feeling strong as August nears, putting him in a position to continue to be the reliable starter he has been for the B-Mets throughout the season, one the struggling team desperately needs.
"My arm's been good all year," Antonini said. "I've been staying fresh and my legs are under me so I'm excited for the rest of the season."