A League Of Their Own
A couple of topics for this post. First of all, there is a Royal’s blog done by Chris “Disco” Hayes, and his blog is pretty much amazing. I reccomend everyone to go check it out. I recently checked it out, and there is some really good stuff on his blog, he is really funny and quite the character.
The second topic is my most recent outing. It was by far the best of the season, and probably the most comfortable that I have felt on the mound. The mechanical changes that we worked on in between starts really paid off. I was through 6 innings in 74 pitches, and ready to go back out for the 7th, but I was pinch hit for because it was a 1-1 game, and we had a scoring opportunity. Which brings me to my next point, hitting. Its really tough, and I have a lot of work to do. I looked terrrible at the plate, if I had looked a little better, they might have let me hit for myself. Either way, it was a very good outing, and a very encouraging step in my career. The fact that I was able to fix my mechanics in one outing gives me a boatload of confidence.
Ok so on to the real topic of this post. The movie A League of Their Own, a true story about war-time America where they created a women’s baseball league to replace major league baseball. In the movie there is a character by the name of Betty Spaghetti. Well today after our afternoon game in Reading, I was fortunate enough to meet the real life person that portrayed in the movie. While we were sitting on the bus waiting to leave for Harrisburg, she walked onto the bus and introduced herself. It was very cool, and a really exciting experience.
Well thats all I have for today guys and girls.
On the subject of hitting I have a couple questions:
1. As a pitcher for a National League affiliate do you feel that they should change the rules so that pitchers hit in all of the NL affiliate home games, and not in AL affiliate games like they do in interleague play in the majors? I never quite understood why they don’t, as the experience is pretty important for eventual NL pitchers.
2. Because of the way things are set up where you only end up hitting in less than half of your games (both the Eastern League and the International League have more AL teams than NL), how often do the coaches have you work on batting? I know the Pirates major league club actually had their third base/outfield coach also serving as a sort of “pitchers hitting instructor”, but they still spend only a very small amount of time working on hitting. I would imagine it would be even less than in the majors where pitchers hit every day, but it would seem that you have to prepare somewhere.
I do read Disco Hayes’ blog and he is pretty funny. And how cool is it that you got to meet one of the woman how was an inspiration for the movie “A League of Their Own”! Those women loved the game so very much and were a very welcomed distraction during a very difficult time in US history. Congrats on the great outing! Keep practicing and the hitting will come! Good luck!
I wondered the same thing about when you would ever get to bat after seeing the game in Akron (Cleveland affiliate) and noticing the lineups had a DH. I thought even that must be how the whole league does it, not knowing that NL affiliate home games played by NL rules. Hitting pitchers are so rare anymore, though a pitcher can take an infield by surprise when they help their cause. I think pitchers need as much batting practice as the other positions just to stay in practice since starters play 1 in 5 games normally (less in your league) and maybe get shorted 2 at bat chances in the one they play in.
Baseball had the right idea fielding womens teams. Football combined teams those years, as that was the time of the Steagles (Pittsburgh/Philadelphia merger). The NFL wasn’t yet what it is today, though, but ladies in tight pants on a muddy field…. could have propelled football into primetime (grin). Baseball has a longer, richer history though, as you experienced there in Reading. I know an earlier discussion we talked about the legendary history of the Pirates, and some moments I bet it leaves current players in awe.
I am so glad to hear the positive tone of voice… congrats on the great outing! Keep up the great work!
brian921 – Small clarification. NL Affiliate home games do not play by NL rules unless the opponent is also an NL affiliate. So even if Altoona is the home team if they are visited by the Akron Aeros (for example) they will still play with a DH. If the Reading Phillies visit Altoona then they will play by NL rules with pitchers hitting.
Looks like you’re developing a more consistent arm. Four straight starts of six innings. Way to go! Keep improving.
I wouldn’t worry about hitting too much. But I guess you would get a lot more publicity if you hit like Micah Owings.
Congrats on the gem! How’s your fastball speed? Still mid to high 90s?
Blzr- I completely agree that with the first point. I think that we should hit more often, because we will be hitting everyday when we are in the big leagues. It is certainly different having to hit in between innings, instead of sitting on the bench and talking to the catcher. We very rarely work on hitting. The only time I have taken batting preactice this year is the day before you pitch if you are playing a national league team. Other than that we work on some bunting in the batting cages.
Julia- It was very cool meeting one of the girls. Something I won’t forget, the women did a great thing for our country.
Hey Brian- I agree about getting more work, but I don’t think it should be as much as the position players. Baseball definitely has a great, long history and Reading is a fine example of that.
Thanks swvabob, its all about pitching deep into games and giving your team a chance to win.
Gjs- Yea if I hit like Micah Owings, I might not be pitching anymore, hahaha it is pretty impressive what he does at the plate. Thanks for the congrats, the fastball has been mostly in the upper 80’s and low 90’s so far this year. I am more of a pitcher now than I was in college, instead of just a thrower. I know more about the game now, understanding hitters and things like that. I still look to get back into the mid 90’s, as long as they are quality strikes.
Nice game against the hated Senators. If I would have checked and found it was such an early game I would have made the trip. Congrats though!
Great to see that you’re doing well, but more importantly that you are able to implement the changes from the throwing sessions.
I have to admit that, though I love baseball, I was never remotely good at it. Therefore, I don’t really understand pitching mechanics. How does a coach find and address problem with a pitching motion? Are there standard fixes, like in golf how opening or closing your grip has different effects on your swing? It just seems like such a complex series of contributing factors. Pitching coaches seem like witch doctors to me. I have no idea how they do what they do.
On a related note, I was asked to help my 12-year-old nephew out with his pitching. Is there a good reference to go to? How did you learn? Were you naturally gifted at it? Or were you surrounded by good coaches?
Congrats on another QS. Had I known the game was so early I may have made the trip this morning.
I am curious to hear your own opinion of the most recent outing vs Harrisburg, but it looks like two great outings in a row, which means you have shown consistency demonstrating the changes you made before the outing prior. I am very happy for you! Congrats on your 2nd win!
Hi Daniel. This is your uncle in Atlanta. I listened to you last four games. Your looking really good. I think you’re hitting your stride. As for batting, your left arm is pretty exposed when your batting right handed. Maybe you should stand a long way from the plate and wave the bat at the first three pitches. Take care of your self and keep up the good work.
Thanks shamtown, I hope the drive wouldn’t have been too long, 10 30 comes around pretty early.
Falseaccount- Thanks for the nice words, it is really good that it is coming together. I would say no there is no real quick fix or standard fix. The pitching motion is very complex. And that is why alot of pitching coaches are very gifted in being able to see something different in 12 different guys on a team. I am fortunate to have always had really good pitching coaches around me. This year is no exception, my pitching coach is very good, and has helped me out so much already in this young season.
Hey Brian, this outing wasn’t as good as the last outing. I struggled early with command, and got better as the outing went on. Not really sure why it happened that way, but the first 2-3 innings were definitely a struggle, and I will have a post on the outing coming soon, probably tonight. I am certainly feeling better on the mound recently, and I have to just keep working hard in my bullpen sessions in between starts.
Hey uncle Zach, good to see some family on here. I actually have a pretty heavy duty arm guard on my left arm to protect it. Thanks for stopping in to say hi though. You take care as well.
looks like it’s time to perfect the drag bunt… I hear you have some pretty good wheels 😛
I’m thinking of making the drive to Altoona next weekend. Are you scheduled to pitch Saturday or Sunday, or should I plan for another weekend?