Monday, January 14, 2008
starting and ending a triple-header
During this past week in practice - I have to say, this is the best I've felt hitting and throwing the ball in a long time. Either the pilates is paying off, all the work i'm doing lifting and running is morphing into my baseball game, or I'm just starting to get into the groove of things (there could also be something in the water, that turns this country of like 20 million into an international baseball powerhouse but i'm no chemist so i'll leave that for the experts) ... i'm starting to stroke the ball nicely in Batting practice and i'm feeling good pop coming out of my arm - so how did that translate into the game on Sunday? For starters the early 10 AM start had me a little too non-shalont in the first inning where I gave up a walk and a hit, but made a nice inside-move to 2nd base on a 2 out 3-2 count to pick off the runner. In between innings I asked my boy to take video of me to see what i was doing wrong mechanically and he responded with an answer I didn't like. Upon my return to the game I was heated, I mean literally pissed at him, and I think that was the intensity I needed because I went on to strike out all 3 hitters in the inning. The next inning I worked on my change-up and it was at it's best all year. By then I had thrown 58 pitches and I knew I was getting tired. I was hoping to have a short 12 pitch inning before removing myself from the game but I walked 3 guys including 1 with the bases loaded and left the game with the score tied 1-1 after getting out of the jam and 83 pitches under my belt. I did strike out 6 in 4 innings and only gave up 2 hits (to the same batter, one of which was a dink shot) but the 5 walks (3 in the last inning) won't worry me as much if I bring it down next game. I pounded the low part of the zone but wasn't getting the low strike so that really shouldn't be an area of concern. Another positive, although my average dropped was the 1-3 (with a solid line drive single into left field and another mash that I crushed into the prevailing 20 mph + wind blowing in - felt like i was a hitter at Wrigley) so although my average dropped on the year to 4-6 (which I believe using my fuzzy math skills is something like .666) I still felt comfortable at the plate with my new adjusted stance.
We won the game something like 12-2 although I was in the locker room getting massaged and loosened up for the next 2 games, in which we won the 2nd game 2-1, and squeezed out a 4-0, maybe 4-2 victory in game 3, where my boy Adam Crabb threw a gem of a game, where some real bush league stuff went on - like the phantom tag at 2nd base by the other team's 2nd baseman that almost erupted into a fight because our Right Fielder Josh almost broke his leg and a game in which I entered, quite unexpectedly, for the last few innings for our injured Canadian right fielder, in which I popped out once and caught two line drives in the outfield (can't even recall taking any Outfield/Flyball practice since July?) so it was interesting to say the least - but I got it done, even catching the final out. This was a pretty odd - I've played a lot of double headers and even a few triple headers in all my time playing baseball but I can't ever remember pitching in a 1st game (recording the first out of the day as the home team) and then finishing the day in the field in a 3rd game (and recording the final out of the day) - that's why you gotta love baseball. You can't make this stuff up...
Meanwhile, before the game on Saturday evening I took a little stroll about 5 min down the road and look what i found -> (see above)