NEW YORK -- Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Bronson Arroyo made durability look painless while throwing at least 199 innings each of the last nine seasons.
However, going to the mound every fifth day is anything but easy, as Arroyo noted Sunday afternoon during a remarkably candid postgame press conference between the first and second games of the Diamondbacks' doubleheader against the New York Mets at Citi Field.
Arroyo threw just 75 pitches in six innings during the opener before he was lifted for a pinch hitter with one out in the seventh inning and a runner at third base. Manager Kirk Gibson said between games -- the Diamondbacks won the first one 2-1 before dropping the nightcap 4-2 -- that Arroyo exited due to a tender right elbow.
Arroyo said he wasn't sure if it was his elbow but that he didn't feel right for most of the start. He also seemed surprised when informed that Gibson acknowledged the ailment, and he provided a glimpse into the competitive nature behind a carefree facade when he was asked how reporters should phrase his injury.
"I wouldn't write any of it if I were you," Arroyo said with a laugh.
Arroyo, who allowed one run on six hits and one walk while striking out one, said it's not unusual for him to feel less than 100 percent on the mound, especially given the mileage on his arm that isn't accounted for by his major league statistics.
Before reaching the majors for good with the Boston Red Sox in 2004, Arroyo spent most of nine seasons in the minors, during which he made 177 starts and threw 1,105 innings.
"We're banged up all the time, man," Arroyo said. "It's just the way it is. I've made every start for 19 years, and people think that you feel good all the time. The truth is, you don't feel good most of the time."
And what doesn't feel good most of the time? Everything.
"There's just sometimes, man, when your shoulder's beat up, your elbow's beat up, your back's beat up," Arroyo said. "There's times, man, when you're just grinding through (stuff) and when you start a ballgame not feeling good in the first inning and you go out there and battle.
"Sometimes it's like having a twisted ankle and going out there and running a marathon. Man, maybe you're OK mile one, mile two, mile three, but then you get to mile 15, man, sometimes (stuff) starts building up on you, the pain. If you could get out with a quality start, as I did, (and) leave the ball team in a good position, that's what you do."
And that's what Arroyo plans to do Friday, when he is scheduled to pitch against the Cincinnati Reds -- the team with whom he compiled all nine of those 199-inning seasons. Neither he nor Gibson expressed concern that Arroyo would miss the start, which would be his 276th consecutive start since his last relief appearance on Oct. 2, 2005, when he was still pitching for the Red Sox.
"If you haven't noticed, he's never been on the DL or missed a start," Gibson said with a grin.
Arroyo notices it -- almost every time he pitches.