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Bell squares away mechanical, mental issues

Bell squares away mechanical, mental issues

Bell squares away mechanical, mental issues
MIAMI -- Mentally and physically, Heath Bell feels he is back. The next step is to get on the mound and lock down that first save.

Bell did that in Tuesday night's 5-2 win over the Cubs, tossing a perfect ninth. On Sunday morning, the day after he watched a three-run lead in the ninth inning disappear against the Astros, Bell was on the field making some adjustments.

"I looked at video tape Saturday night," Bell said.

Pitching coach Randy St. Claire also watched tape of Bell from 2011. The fact that the two are working together for the first time, they did a lot of talking on Sunday and then made an adjustment to eliminate a little hop Bell was doing.

"Mechanically, I didn't really see anything major," Bell said. "Then I just watched me two years ago. I watched the whole season I pitched."

What Bell noticed about his early outings now is his pitches have been flat. On Sunday, Bell talked with St. Claire and catcher John Buck, getting their input.

"I said, 'We need to go on the field and we need to fix this,'" Bell said. "I found exactly what I was doing. I was just jumping a little too much and things were flat. We made the adjustment, and I had the downward angle again."

Physically, Bell feels he is ready. Mentally, he was inspired by a Facebook message left by his wife, Nicole, who is in San Diego. She basically left a moving, personal message about how much they've overcome to be in the position they're in now.

"Emotionally, my wife wrote me a letter that really helped me out," the closer said. "The mental part, she helped me out with that."

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