Turning Corners - 8/4/12
I think my shoulder has turned a corner. In the last few weeks I have been hitting 94 and sitting 92-93. My cutter has started to get good depth and I’ve been getting ground balls with my splitter. I’m debating whether to throw my slider again. I’ve been having great conversations with the other guys in the pen and I’ve learned a lot about throwing breaking balls. One aspect of my game my teammates brought up a few days ago was that all of my pitches are hard. It might be good to have something to get hitters moving forward and backward, not just having a pitches that are all hard. So, we’ll see. I’ll play around with my slider and try to apply what I've learned. The good news is that I’m getting great extension. My fastball is moving, my cutter is late, and so is my splitter. I’m really happy with how my shoulder is doing. Yesterday I pitched 2/3 of an inning. The day before I had thrown 2 innings. So, when I pitched well yesterday and felt like I hadn’t missed a step, everyone was very happy. So, lets keep getting strong and feeling good. I’ve been lifting harder recently (more weight and fewer reps) and I really like how that makes me feel. I feel stronger. I think as pitchers we get a lot of work during the season at lower intensity, that sometimes it is good to lift to maintain that maximum strength threshold. If you don’t stay strong during the season, you will lose whatever strength you have. My last 10 games have been fantastic. 1.38 ERA, 13 innings pitched, 8 hits, 2 runs, 13 strikeouts, 3 walks, .174 opponents avg for the New Hampshire Fishercats, AA Eastern League.
When we go on the road in the minor leagues, the key thing we all ask is what's around the hotel? Restaurants are good, stores are good, but teams try to find a mall. There are many options for everyone and it gives us things to do. Recently, our hotel wasn't ready when we got to the new city, so the bus dropped everyone off at a mall. Pretty standard procedure. It's fun to people watch in a mall. The best is when you find a Brookstone and get time in one of the massage chairs as you people watch. We wonder what other people are thinking, what they are there for. Many people are busy, looking at things, checking out new products, hanging out with friends. When walking around a mall, the things that run through my mind are things I want, most of the time. Other times, like recently when I found a breath freshening spray that also gives you an instant Irish accent, I thought it would be fun to get that for someone else. I think most of the time that is where our agenda lies, with what builds us and our kingdom. In other words, I am building my kingdom and not Christ's. Isn't it true though, as we live our lives, we are either building Christ's kingdom or we are building our own. We cannot do both, just as scripture says, "No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. (2 Timothy 2:4 NKJV)" and "“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. (Matthew 6:24 NLT)" Are my thoughts about what I can do to further His kingdom or how I can build a life for myself here on earth? We can spend so much time thinking, planning, decorating, acquiring, and is all of that for ourselves or for His kingdom. Many of the things we acquire can be used to build Christ's kingdom if only we use them to serve Him and others. Where are my efforts and ingenuity going? Am I using my life to serve Him, to serve others? Where are my thoughts as I walk through a mall, walk through this life?