Since this is my first time blogging anything I am not sure where to start. I wanted to start this blog as a way to interact with baseball fans of all ages, everywhere. It is a chance for me to connect with you about my life as a athlete and what baseball life is really about.
Reporters try to write about what it is like to be a player but the majority of them have never spent a day in a professional uniform. This blog will be a first hand experience for you to know what really happens in my life on the road, in the clubhouse and in my head as a pitcher.
I will try to answer questions you have and give you as much of a insiders view as I can. I want this to be an opportunity for you, the fans, to be as close to this game as possible. So, here goes…
We have been on the road for over a week now, and will be heading back to Detroit late Thursday night after I make my start against the Rangers. We began this road trip in Tampa after being swept at home by the Indians. (that sucked!) I enjoy going to Tampa because it is only a short distance to our off season home in Orlando.
I am able to be with family that I haven’t seen since the end of spring training and a chance for me to sleep in my bed for a change. Even though my time at home was only about twelve hours I woke up at 6 am to go fishing with my neighbor, Dave.
It was a good morning out on our lake. The fish were not only biting, but jumping out of the water. We caught about 15 largemouth bass in the 2 hours we were out. The fish were up to about 4 pounds averaging about 2 1/2 pounds. Being home with my family and going fishing allowed me to get away from the grind of being on the road for a short time.
The second leg of the road trip took us into Cleveland. It was a vital opportunity for us to gain some ground against the Indians. At the time the series started they had only dropped four games at the Jake all season, so we knew we had our work cut out for us.
After dropping our 4th straight against the Tribe on Thursday night, I took the mound for Friday night’s game. We jumped out to an early lead and I was cruising, or so I thought. Through the first five innings of action, we had a 3-1 lead and I was throwing strikes and making my pitches work for me.
For the first time all year, I was able to throw my curveball for strikes early in the count. I had good command of my fastball and it looked as if the game was going our way. We added 2 more runs in the top of the sixth to increase our lead to 5-1.
But, in the bottom of that inning the momentum changed in their favor. Things made a turn for the worse after I got 2 outs and a 0-2 count on Peralta. I only needed to make one more pitch to end the inning. Instead, I walked off the mound after giving up 2 two-run homers and our lead.
Only one more pitch to Peralta and I would have been out of the inning giving up no runs! I had him dowm 0-2 and couldn’t finish him! After being in control of the game for the first 5 2/3 innings, I ended my night in a 5-5 tie after 6 innings.
It is one of the worst feelings a pitcher to not be able to get out of an inning when you are so close. That night ended in a 5th straight win for the Indians over us. It was frustrating to have good stuff and to be only one pitch away from a great outing.
One of the highlights of the road trip was a bible study I had with Nate Robertson and Todd Jones. I enjoy meeting with my teammates to talk about what’s going on in our lives and taking the time to encourage each other.
It was a crazy night Saturday night in Cleveland. The Pistons were playing Game 6 against the Cavaliers next door at the “Q”. Unfortunately, it didn’t go the Pistons way and their season is over. The city went crazy and fans were up all night honking horns in the streets! But, after dropping the first two games of the series we evened it out by taking the last two.
It was onto Texas for the last stop. The first day in was a day off. I was looking forward to Texas because Brooke made the trip and without our boys. Brooke and I don’t get much alone time during the season. It was the first trip this year that only she came on.
We spent the day off at the mall in Dallas and caught not one, but two movies. That’s a big deal for us seeing how we haven’t seen two movies on one weekend in a few years! Just spending time with her with no kiddos is always great.
It gives us a chance to be focused on one another and needless to say it was a wonderful day. And here we are ready to take on the Rangers. I’m pitching the last day here looking to get back on track and pitching the way I know I am capable of.
That is probably one of the most frustrating things I am going through right now..to know I have it in me, that all the pieces are there, but they just aren’t falling into place in the order they should or the way I want them to. So, I’ll go back to work and do the best I can to give my team a chance to win.
Oh yeah, don’t forget to log onto the web and vote for the Tigers for the All Star game. Maggs is tearing it up right now! Stay Tuned!