Our game of cards on GetAwayDay
We're officially into the 2nd month of the 6 month-long season. It's kind of amazing that it's only been a month, what with all the winning...then losing. Yeah, we started out 17-2 and have skidded to a 4-8 record over our last 12. Not only has the team been on a roller coaster of sorts, but so have I.
I began my season with 2 solid 5 inning efforts giving up just 2 earned runs. Since then I've given up a few more (17 to be exact). What's changed, you say? To be honest, I'm not sure anything has. In fact, I feel better now about my stuff and my delivery than I have all year. I guess you have to chalk it up to baseball being baseball. "You win some. You lose some. Nobody's perfect."
It's such a cliché, but it's true. As ballplayers, we can't afford to get wrapped up in how good (or how bad) we're doing. The season is too long, the game is too difficult, and it's all just too damn unpredictable. We do our best to control the outcomes that are within our realm of control, but you just can't control everything. Talking to Phil Regan, our pitching coach, he said just that. "Mac, you can't control everything. I know you want to...just listen. All you can control is what pitch you wan to to throw, your delivery, and how the ball comes out of you hand." He was right. I can't control the flight of the ball through the air. The air exerts its own force on the ball to make it do something unique. I can't control how the catcher catches it. He's the one wearing the mit. I definitely can't control what the hitter does, whether he hits it over the fence or misses it by 2 feet. When I focus on the things I can control the game seems to slow down. It becomes easier and it allows me to focus more intensely on what I am doing. Mono e mono. Pitcher vs. hitter. The battle of good vs. evil. Ok, I'm a bit biased. Not all hitters are evil...just the ones in the lineup that day.
So let's chalk up the first month to a learning experience. Or a warm up. Or whatever. It's over and now it's time to get back to work. You know what they say. April showers bring May shutouts. Or something like that.