Hey, sorry it’s been a few days. I’ve been a bit distracted here. But, as many of you know, I pitched again on Monday. Unfortunately, we lost again. That pushes me back to 1-4 in 7 starts. Not where I want to be, even if I don’t really have control over wins. I do have control over losses. Although my earned runs have gone down minus that one start 2 outings ago, my WHIP and the number of walks I continue to issue have skyrocketed. Unacceptable. Sure, I can bear down and minimize the damage. That’s the easy part for me. But imagine how well these games would be going if I wasn’t giving free bases. 10 in my last 9 innings. On Monday, 4 of the first 5 batters. That cannot and will not be happening again. That’s focus. It’s not being a bad pitcher, because that I am not. It’s focus. Getting myself game-ready from the first pitch, which obviously I was not. Sure, in the 4 innings I pitched they only scored 1 in that first inning off a wild pitch (no hits) and 1 other run came off a hanging changeup to a great hitter later, but I deserved to lose that game.
People came up to me later and said, “Great game. You would have won if we scored runs.” It’s not about that. Not at all. The hitters are doing their job. They are. It’s my job to keep the other team to fewer runs than we have. End of story. And by walking 5 in 4 innings, you aren’t going to do that. That’s basic pitching. My job is to throw strikes, pound the zone, and eliminate big innings. They may not have put up a lot of runs, but the way I pitched isn’t going to get my team going, either. There was no momentum created by the way I pitched.
Now, there are some positives. After the first inning, I threw a pretty solid 3 innings. 1 walk, 1 run, 3 hits, 2 k. 9 groundouts and 1 flyout. That’s a great ratio right there. With the help of some great positive support after the first inning from my pitching coach and my own self not allowing that type of inning to return, I threw pretty well. The changeup and curveball were there, as usual. The fastball came around. Maybe I would have thrown more innings, but we are on a strict pitch count. It doesn’t matter if you are just getting warmed up. It’s your own fault for taking that long. So, my day ended early, and once again, I dumped a heavy load of innings onto the bullpen, which isn’t fair.
There aren’t that many things I’m doing wrong, here. It’s all about that fastball. My curveball and changeup are always there for me. I can throw those pitches well any day. But my fastball. The pitch I throw 60-65% of the time I only throw for a strike about 50% of the time. And that’s just not good pitching. So, over the next few days, especially in the bullpen session, it’s my duty to jump back on the mound and figure it out. I never really had this problem back in college (only 1 year ago). I would have a game here or there where I walked a good bit of guys, but other than that it was 1 or 2 walks. Right now, I just can’t find the zone. But, it’s a long season and hopefully a long career and the problems WILL be fixed. I have no doubt about that. It’s probably something very small. A tiny adjustment. Those small adjustments are what turn a pitch that is a foot outside to a pitch right on the black. As we know, this is still the minor leagues and we are all learning right now. The good thing for me is that I know what it is I need to fix. Throwing my fastball where I want to throw it.
In the meantime:
Congratulations to my college team for the at-large bid they received to the regional tournament. By a stroke of luck, the regionals are held in Strongsville, OH. So, I’ll be there on my off-day (today) to watch the “Etta Express” take on Hope at 7 pm. Hopefully, they can pound out a good 20-30 hits and then take it to the Otterbein/Ohio Wesleyan winner tomorow.
Tomorrow, I intend on reviewing the movie Hot Fuzz, which I saw in theaters last night. A little hint on my thoughts: Hilarious! Great movie.