Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Spring Training Battle

I threw again today. It may very well be my last outing before the season gets up and running on the 6th. I was slated to go 4 innings if my pitch count allowed. I went all 4 in 46 pitches.

Looking at the line of the day (4 inn. 1 hit. 1 run. 3 BB. 1 HBP. 1 K. 8 groundball outs) you might be able to make some sort of judgement about the outing. Perhaps I was effectively wild? Maybe I was getting squeezed by the umpire yet still making good pitches? The truth is, I was all over the place.

My fastball was uncharacteristically wild, cutting on occasion and sinking out of sight on others. That's usually a good thing...if you know when it will happen. I didn't. I threw 3 balls to the backstop including 2 more in warmups. My curveball was decent at times and my change up got me a couple of weak swings, but my saving grace today was my newfound Cutter. I was able to throw it early in counts and get groundballs , late in the count getting my one punchout, and hang it over the heart of the plate for my lone hit. It was a tale of two outings...the line was good, the performance was shaky.

Pitching coach Ricky Bones said to us in a meeting last week that "if you have 30 starts a year the breakdown will look like this. 5 where you're untouchable. 5 where you can't get your own grandmother out. And 20 where your stuff is average, forcing you to battle for a W or roll over for an L."

Today was one of the starts in the middle. These are the days that define a season, a career even. You get 20 games every year where you are in a dog fight for pitch 1 to 100+. I didn't have great stuff today. In fact I would venture to say it was downright bad at times, but I was determined to make it through my 4 innings and give my team a chance to win this Spring Training game where they weren't even keeping score. I did my job and I was proud to do it. My bullpen session in a couple days will be my chance to refine and adjust, but on the hill in the game you aren't working on're getting people out! I'll throw better in the future, but for today I did all I could.

This might be one of those weeks for you. You know, if you get 52 weeks in a year 12 will be great, 12 will be terrible and out of your control, but it's the other 28 weeks that you have the choice to make it good/bad. Don't let this year be a losing season for you. Go out and battle through the hard weeks and relish the good ones...This makes the bad ones that much more tolerable.


  1. we went to an exhibition game last night and were thinking of you. keep up the good work!

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