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Monday, April 29, 2013


So Saturday's outing didn't go as expect.  My pitching line looked terrible I'm sure. I hit 3 batters. I walked another one. I did manage to strike someone out on a change up down the middle that baffled him.  Beyond that, it was just flat out bad from the first pitch.  Jim wisely pulled me.

Now it's time to start wondering what happened.  I don't think it's a huge mystery.  I was way too up in my head and my mechanics went to all hell.  I suppose that's what happens when you spend 14 months preparing for that very moment.  When it's nearly all you can think about for over a year....

I crossed those white lines to the mound and I could barely walk. It was like everything I had worked for came rushing up.  All of the hours spent with a stupid green tube and a small bouncy ball.  All of the baseballs into a sock.  All of the conversations with Ken, Jamie, Joe, and others led up to me stepping across those lines and onto that mound.

And it all came over me at once.  I felt like I was going to trip over that chalk line.  Sure, it was weird taking over right field a few innings earlier.
-Side Note: It never fails.  I hadn't been in the outfield in almost two years and the first batter hits one right to me. 3 batters later I get a line drive.  I got both, but still....the ball always finds the new guy.
Even hitting was fine.  My swing was goofy a bit since I hadn't been in a game in a while and seen live pitching since about September of 2011 so I wasn't worried.  I made contact pretty well and had a good at bat on the strikeout.  Overall, not terrible.

For whatever reason, I expected pitching to just come back.  Like I had never left.  I had great practice outings and have thrown so many strikes over the last few months it was like I couldn't fail. But I did and did so in incredible style. I couldn't find a rhythm, a release poitn, movement, velocity, none of those things. I'm not sure I could have hti the broadside of a barn.  This after having yet another great bullpen a few days earlier and declaring myself ready to roll.  Hell, even our field manager Jim thought I'd be a nice surprise coming out of the bullpen.

Well, so much for that.  It's very hard to put into words the canyons of difference between expectations and execution.

Chuck, my regular catcher, texted me and said I should go out there and reverse my thinking.  Expect nothing.  Expect lots of line drives and home runs. See what happens.  I don't think he's wrong.

There are 23 more games this season.  I expect to throw in 22 of them and I expect to be good in 20 of them.  I have about one blow up per season.  Well, this was one of them. Let's hope there are no more.

I do want to mention a few things for those that have hung with me this long.
1. My teammates are great.  I got a lot of texts and emails that just said "Way to get back out there." They were from new guys, old guys, everyone.  I really appreciated those.  It meant a lot.  It was good to get back out there.  I'll only get better.  Eventually, nobody will remember that first outing.
2. The mental part of doing this was more than I could have imagined. It was REALLY hard.  I couldn't even see the catcher's glove out there.  I just saw a batter.  In all of my warmups, I couldn't believe how close home plate was.  Saturday, it felt like it was a mile away. Kudos to guys like Jamie Moyer, Jake Peavy, Joe Nathan and Nate Bergher who get back out there like nothing ever happened.  That's unreal.
3.  I'm ready to roll.  I'm want to do this. I don't want to be the right fielder. I want to be THE pitcher in this league.  I want my team to win. I want to come in and put them on my back and get to the finish line and win a championship.

That's what I signed up for. That's what I've worked for. I'll keep you guys posted. Keep up with us:


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