MS: When I first got called up, I had a good feel for my changeup and my fastball. A big thing last year was to develop my slider. That gave me three pitches to work with. That was a big reason I had a good 2012.
What about taking the next step this year?
MS: One thing I did notice is that a lot of lefthanders were hitting me pretty hard. My slider played into their bat speed. Last year I started throwing a curveball. A couple of starts into this season I made an adjustment to my grip that helped me be consistent with that pitch. Now I have three pitches for lefthanded hitters.
Who's your toughest out?
MS: Shin-Soo Choo. That was my favorite thing of the whole off-season, when he got traded from the Indians to the Reds. That made my year. He looks very good in a Cincinnati uniform.
What would it mean to start in the All-Star Game?
MS: That would be a huge accomplishment.
What do you use as motivation?
MS: I pitch my best when I'm pitching on adrenaline and with a chip on my shoulder.
With this kind of start, is there a danger you'll relax?