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3/23 Vs the Orioles

March 23, 2007

I’ll go back and get to some of the questions posted sometime in the next few days. As spring winds down there’s always a lot of personal stuff to take care of as you prepare to move back home. Even worse for the kids in the minor leagues that aren’t sure where they are headed (Except for the fact that a lot of them don’t have wives and kids, which would be a nightmare).

 

Sox win in the ninth today, very nice. Some observations from the game. Erik Bedard is good. I know that’s not exactly a revelation but has he turned the corner. Amazing what being healthy and simplifying things can do. Always had the power arm now it seems as if he’s got a great feel for moving the ball in and out and up and down pretty consistently. He throws hard enough and is just wild enough to be consistently effective.

Kevin Millar, even when he guesses right, can’t make himself swing at my curve ball.

First inning lasted 5 pitches, which was a good thing. First pitch fastball to Brian was a hard out to first, Patterson was out in front of a 1-1 change up for out two and Mora hit a ball that was harder hit than it looked due to the wind, on a first pitch fastball away, to center to end the inning. Not sure why but I felt horrific after the inning. No life at all, can’t pinpoint it but I knew it.

 

With one out in the second Gibbons chased a good split, and then Millar comes up. For 3 years he’s talked trash, in person, through text messages, over the phone, about how I better never throw him my curve ball. Last year in
Baltimore I started him off with it, he took it for a strike. Today I shake ‘Tek 3-4 times, Millar calls time out, steps out and says to ‘Tek “What the hells he want an 0-0 curve ball?”, curve ball strike one. Curve ball again, yanked foul, now he’s laughing, and I am trying not to. Curve ball again he lays off. Count gets to 2-2 and he freezes on a 2 seamer inside for strike three. I don’t know if he’s debating the call or just talking, one never knows with him, but he never looks my way as I go into the dugout.

 

Bynum gets the first hit in the third on a fastball in, after some good fastballs away and a few good change ups to get ahead. One of the few hitters in their lineup I wasn’t sure how to pitch, but like every guy that can run in the game he can handle a fastball, especially on the inner half. Bako strikes out on a fastball away and I get Roberts for the third out on a good cutter in off the plate which jams him for a slow roller to first.

 

Fourth inning starts off innocently enough. Patterson and Mora make outs and I get Tejada to two strikes, then jam him with a two seamer and the ball comes back at me as a change up. I reach before it gets there and it nicks my calf, then turns into what should be a routine out to Lugo.

 

At the last second it takes a nasty hop and becomes a hit instead. I end up turning that into two runs. Two outs, two strikes, no one on, and it turns into a two run inning. Cardinal sin of pitching, is allowing something like that inning to happen with two outs and no one on. I throw Gibbons three consecutive incredibly bad change ups to run the count 3-0. Come back with two good fastballs to run the count full and then leave a change up out and up that he hits into the gap in left center field to drive in the first run. Millar rips the next pitch, fastball away, into the same spot for another double for the second run. I end up jamming Payton with a two seamer to end the inning but the damage is done.

 

During the regular season this would have been a huge turning point, because the way Erik was throwing he wasn’t going to give much, if anything, up. Most games, especially games when the guy you are opposing is as on as he was, ‘crooked numbers’ will cost you. Jim Palmer told me a long time ago that the pitchers that avoid ‘crooked numbers’ win more games. An obvious theory but one that has a lot deeper meaning that what it says. Staying away from walks keeps the crooked number theory very much in play. For most pitchers you rarely see 2 hits leading to a run, even rarer that teams will bunch 3 or more hits together. You add a walk into the mix, or two, and those 2-3 hits lead to 2 or more runs. Simple math; the on base percentage for a base on balls is .1000, the on base percentage for even some of the easier to hit pitchers in the game is .300, or lower. If a hitter puts the ball in play, even the best hitters, he makes an out 65% of the time if he’s a GREAT hitter, 70% or more for most guys that play the game.

 

Fifth inning single by Bako on a fastball away. Good pitch that was hit where I expected it. Part of spring training is getting to know the new defensive coach, working with him and the infielders as well. Talked to Dustin after this as well. I’ve always wanted the infielders to position themselves hitter to hitter, pitch to pitch when I am on the mound. If a hitter hits a mistake in a place we aren’t defending then that’s on me, when a hitter hits a pitch you locate, to a spot in the field you expect him to, and it’s not an out, then it falls on the pitcher to fix it.

 

Sixth and seventh go by and ‘Tek and I get our work in. The main reason this game was as important to me as it was, was to see if the change up has come as far as I hoped it had and I felt that it did. Starting to see hitters way out in front and lunging, which is a good thing. Even on the ones I am missing spots with we are getting outs and bad swings. Fastball command was a lot better today as was my slider and curveball. Threw some good splits as well. Overall I didn’t run up the pitch count as I hoped I might, even though I felt I went to some full counts with pitch selection that wasn’t normal, we got through seven under 90 pitches, that’s a good thing.

 

The change up will reduce my pitch counts, that much I know now. Now it’s just a matter of fine tuning some stuff before Wednesday, deciding exactly what I want to finish working on to be ready for opening day in KC.

 

Don’t fret about ‘Tek, his bats going to be there when it counts. He’s spending a massive amount of time working on his swing and that tends to be something you don’t see in spring training at bats, the results anyway. He’s healthy, feels great and is grinding away to get comfortable at the plate, when the games start counting I’d bet he’ll be exactly where he needs to be.

65 Comments leave one →
  1. March 23, 2007 5:45 pm

    Absolutely LOVE reading the recap of the pitches, how the change up is improving but especially the joy of getting Millar out.

  2. acefox1 permalink
    March 23, 2007 5:50 pm

    Awesome recap Curt and great results! Congratulations. I loved the description on pitching to Millar. I can see it all vividly in my mind off your description.

    Your recap reminded me, I’ve always wanted to know; what goes through your mind between innings when things aren’t going well or you are worried that you don’t have all the tools you want or need on the mound on any given start?

    Whatever you were thinking about after the first inning must have worked because it sounds like things came together further down the line. :)

    I can’t wait for April 2. I’ll keep thinking positive thoughts for you that things keep going well and your health keeps doing great!

    Your biggest fan!

    Deane

  3. thepfunk permalink
    March 23, 2007 5:55 pm

    Hey Curt-
    I’m leaving a comment from my Tampa hotel room, just drove here after today’s game in Ft. Myers, to be here for tomorrow’s game against the Rays.

    Anway, not just much of a comment….I just wanted to tell you how amazing it is to leave a game, come online, and see a blog from the starting pitcher breaking down his stuff….pretty awesome.

    Best of luck with the season, the blog, 38 studios, and everything else…you are doing an awesome thing here, and a lot of people appreciate it.

    Thanks Curt!

  4. pbboeye permalink
    March 23, 2007 5:55 pm

    Fascinating stuff, Curt. I really appreciate hearing things from a pitcher’s perspective – the inning-by-inning internal and external battles. My life’s dream was to be a pitcher (nature, at 5’9″ conspired against me, as did Pops, but anyhow…). Man, I’m sold on your blog.

  5. goldsteingonewild permalink
    March 23, 2007 6:01 pm

    Another informative post. Thank you.
    How often do you throw 3 or more of the same pitch consecutively, like the change-you describe above? Is there any rule-of-thumb about that among pitchers, like you, who have several pitches you command well?

  6. March 23, 2007 6:16 pm

    Nice that the younger guys win it in the 9th, that has to be pretty cool for them… I love that inside stuff about Millar, you never hear anything about that listening to the game on the radio like I did today, so its very cool to get that perspective… I’d love to see more of this on field banter posted here… and really how much talking (trash or not) actually happens on the field between teams?

    Thanks!!
    KC

  7. pbboeye permalink
    March 23, 2007 6:19 pm

    Seriously, three changes in a row? I’d be scared to death to throw that. Are you at all able to affect velocity on them like a fastball, or are they all pretty much served up at a constant velocity? And is this a straight change?

    I think it is one of the best pitches in baseball. LOVE it. Jes looook at Jamie Moyer.

  8. chillyme permalink
    March 23, 2007 6:19 pm

    Curt. Love the blog. Just stopping in to wish you and your family health and happiness. Here’s to another great season and keeping the drama on the field.

  9. dadhadals permalink
    March 23, 2007 6:20 pm

    I honestly laughed out loud reading the Millar recap. Great stuff. Throw him a curve ball until he hits it…LOL

    Better yet, next time, TELL him a curve is coming…it’ll be so funny to see him smile the smirk of defeat.

  10. March 23, 2007 6:28 pm

    “Kevin Millar, even when he guesses right, can’t make himself swing at my curve ball.”

    Haha, nice. A little trash talk for Bruce Springsteen.

    You should get him to post here, dude. The guy’s a riot. It’d be good times.

  11. mainefan permalink
    March 23, 2007 6:37 pm

    I really love this blog! And I, too, love hearing how you pitched to Millar. I really miss the guy. He was the best cheerleader the Red Sox has ever had.:)

  12. March 23, 2007 6:40 pm

    Geesh, you might as well right a book. The insight is already there!

    Good thing you had the fastball working. How do you cope with the frustration, during a game, of knowing one or two of your pitches “just isn’t there”?

  13. jviner4 permalink
    March 23, 2007 6:41 pm

    Curt,

    I agree with everyone; thanks for the Millar play by play. I seem to recall that was his rap when he was in Boston. The curve is a demon for him.

    My question for you and you obviously don’t need to tackle this subject but later on in the spring would be appreciated: What is the overall vibe you are getting in the clubhouse so far this year? We’ll never get the “lovable idiots of 04″ back but there seemed to be an overall team chemistry.

    Jim

    PS I heard you on EEI, and they suggested you get Manny to post. He doesn’t have to start a thread but we would love to hear him or anyone else for that matter’s thoughts. Kansas City would be a good time to try since there isn’t much to do after returning on the Royals Express after leaving Kauffman @ 10 PM.

  14. cdnsoxfan permalink
    March 23, 2007 6:43 pm

    Hey Curt;
    This is awesome, as a Sox fan living on the west coast, i often feel removed from the team. This blog does a lot to make the team seem a little closer. Great stuff!!

    My question is about yesterday. ESPN broke the story about Paps then you made the post. It was great to get your take on the whole situation first hand. I am just wondering if the organization has said anything to you about delaying some of your responses to things that go on with the club? The FO has become ultra sensitive recently about controlling the message that comes out (and rightfully so, with some of the S*** that gets written). I suspect your red headed friend is partially to blame for this. So have they asked anything of you regarding this blog?

    Don’t know if you read Buster Olney’s daily blog (it is a must for any baseball fan), but it looks like you are getting some street cred. He credits what has gone on here and the fact that you sourced ESPN in the story.

    One more question, now that Paps is the closer. It’s June and the Sox are looking to bolster the rotation. Who would you rather see take the spot, Lester or Clemens?

  15. tcull33 permalink
    March 23, 2007 6:49 pm

    Really cool Curt. These recaps put me right into the mindset of the game I love it. That was too funny about Millar.

  16. navad permalink
    March 23, 2007 6:51 pm

    Sublime! You are setting a precedent in sports and journalism. One wonders if you will have the time and inclination to continue, But for now this is among the best journalistic experiences a fan can have.
    Thoroughly enjoyed your comments about how the fourth inning got away from you. I wonder how much Sox pitchers will miss Alex at shortstop. And your commnets concerning Bedard were fascinating. But perhaps the best entry today was concernig Millar.
    Good luck with the chageup — in the end it may be your abitliy to locae it that determineds the degree you can use it.
    Your writing is award winning! Bravo!

  17. chrisfont9 permalink
    March 23, 2007 6:55 pm

    So Curt, three bad changeups to Gibbons… at this point in the spring, are you throwing the pitches you want to work on, or are you trying to get guys out like it’s showtime?

  18. daschmuck permalink
    March 23, 2007 7:05 pm

    Wow i just discovered 38pitches and I can’t tell you how great it is to listen to the great schill walk us through a day on the mound.

    This would be wonderful reading material for developing young pitchers. I plan on suggesting it to the pitchers and catchers on the team i coach.

    Thanks for your insight…I really enjoy this blog

  19. March 23, 2007 7:12 pm

    Hey, you shook Tek off and this time it worked! Sounds like Millar needs to get you out of his head.

  20. skisox24 permalink
    March 23, 2007 7:15 pm

    Your blog is breaking new ground, at least in Boston if not throughout MLB. While I confess my continued dependance on the more traditional means of baseball information sources such as newspaper columns and WEEI talk show madness, I sense that I am witnessing the genesis of a new way of satisfying fan base knowledge of all things Red Sox.

    Why does your blog trump the more traditional information resources? There is no hidden agenda. There is no underlying need to be controversial, i.e. sensationalist. You don’t have to refrain from speaking your mind because of ownership or sponsor sensitivities. And, finally, your remarks are credible and seemingly spontaneous, and they reflect exactly what you intend to express. As a one-time victim of The Boston Globe’s misguided Spotlight investigative team, I now fully understand the motives of commercial media. I do not suggest that we should not respect or make use of traditional media outlets, however, whenever doing so we must filter all communications through the prism of skepticism and understand that the message must answer to many masters that may not be aligned with the notion of simply telling the truth.

    Thanks, Curt for the time that you devote to your fans. This is good stuff.

    Skisox24

  21. leapoffaaaith permalink
    March 23, 2007 7:19 pm

    Curt,
    This blog is truly ground breaking. I am always hungry for input from players, not pundits…. As a fellow blogger, with less to say, I always felt a blog lets people get to know you in a way that is uniquely personal, while also manageably distant. The jealousy of the pundits is almost as enjoyable as reading your “Millar curveball recap.”

    Question: As you become more transparent to the world, thus opening up more opportunity for the judgmental masses to take shots, does your faith play a significant part in the self-assurance you are showing?

    (that would be a hanging curve)

    Blessings & safe travels…

  22. hubbardb permalink
    March 23, 2007 7:26 pm

    Curt, the side bar between you and Millar reminds the casual fan like myself that this really is just a game. Would that be something that could happen during the season too, or just a spring training thing? While between innings are you watching the other pitcher or focused on your own work or both?

  23. omz1971 permalink
    March 23, 2007 7:48 pm

    It’s interesting to read about the game within the game. The insight into what actually goes on occasionally between pitcher and batter is fascinating. Thanks for sharing.

  24. oriolebird permalink
    March 23, 2007 7:52 pm

    Thanks for the great insight into being on the field. I’m an Orioles fan but I read your blog consistantly just because it’s so interesting. I was really excited to hear your comments on Bedard, he’s a great source of giddiness around these parts! Did you happen to see Cabrera pitch against you guys last week? What are your thoughts on his stuff?

  25. santafesox permalink
    March 23, 2007 7:55 pm

    Great job today Mr. Schilling. I just wanted to post a general comment on your new blog to let you know you have a HUGE fan out here in Santa Fe. And this blog is, simply put, awesome. I have been enjoying your posts. Keep up the good work and good luck on the upcoming season. GO SOX!

  26. yergen permalink
    March 23, 2007 8:01 pm

    Curt,
    Lifelong Jays fan here. Question: In the ’93 world series (and NL series as well) they showed you every time Mitch “wild thing” Williams came on for the save and you were very demonstrative with hiding under towels as you couldn’t bear to watch him “blow it”. As a Jays fan I of course loved it when he served it up to Joe Carter but always thought that you should have been more supportive or at least not “played to the cameras”.
    Have you ever been asked this question? Have always wondered what your side was and it’s nice to have this forum to ask you.

  27. March 23, 2007 8:09 pm

    Curt,

    Just found your page via the interview w/ Alex Belth @ SI.com. Very cool site, and I hope it’s here to stay. I may be a Chicagoan and a fan of the “other” Sox, but I wish you much success this year and in the future.

    Best regards.

  28. unexpectedjourney permalink
    March 23, 2007 8:09 pm

    I know you are a professional but how do you keep yourself from cracking up every time Millar is at bat. I’m not usually the kind of fan who is a soft touch for former players (though I’d love to have Damon back), but it’s too bad there was not a space for Millar somewhere on the Sox bench. On that note, what is the deal with carrying 12 pitchers in April? Isn’t this the month you need the least pitchers, and Pawtucket is just an hour away? Seems like the bench would be better with 5 guys rather than 4 especially with no pinch runner or defensive outfielder. Maybe you should have the pitchers run the 40 and whoever is fastest would pinch run when not otherwise pitching. My money would be on Dice K, no offense.

  29. peedub permalink
    March 23, 2007 8:10 pm

    Ridiculous blog, Curt. I love the break down. It is unprecedented to get a real game synopsis from a pitcher, especially on the ‘day of’. If you can stay committed to this during the season, you may just make those b.s. press sessions obsolete. The hard part will be getting the stomach to do this after a rough outing. Please try!

  30. rsummr permalink
    March 23, 2007 8:18 pm

    I can’t believe how cool this is becoming. Thanks for the blog Curt. You will always be THE MAN for bringing home ’04. One of the greatest Red Sox of all time and one of the all time fan favorites in Boston sports history.

    I can’t wait to wake up the morning after one of your starts and come here first – not the Globe or Herald or EEI or even Projo – for the real goods on a game.

    Have you noticed that since this place has taken off, a lot of Sox beat writers have started writing a little more? I think Edes last Email bag was 10(!) pages long. Hillarious.

    Anyway, keep up the great work and best of luck this season! This blog will get me through the harsh summer of no baseball because of the new Direct TV blackout in my place.

  31. slyder29 permalink
    March 23, 2007 8:33 pm

    Hey Curt…Once again, a great blog. The pitch sequence recap to Millar was fantastic. Hey a question for ya…Besides the obvious answer of the Yankees..or maybe Philladelphia..Is there any other team that gets you really pumped to pitch against? A team where you might do a little more homework against? Thanks..once again, Great Blog

  32. rocket531 permalink
    March 23, 2007 8:37 pm

    Curt,

    I’m not sure if I heard you right but I thought you said that the splitter was easier for you to learn than the curve. I’m assuming pitchers talk to each other about how they throw different pitches from time to time. I was wondering if anyone has suggested or if Becket has ever worked on a splitter.

    He seems to get in trouble when people sit on his fastball. They’re either in fastball counts or they just pick up his fastball. Becket could be deadly with a decent splitter.

  33. curtbeingcurt permalink
    March 23, 2007 8:50 pm

    ahh Curt I just found your site from dirtdogs ( they were critisizing you for releasing the news of Pap…ugg that sucks). i went to the game today against the orioles and you looked REALLY solid. i could tell you were working on your changeup, warmups i could see you focusing, you definately got the batters to swing out in front!
    well my dad and i are here for a weekend trip and we are drivimg up to st pete to see you guys against the drays ( will you be there?) and then come back sunday against the marlins ( will you be there again? haha)
    PS LOVED your outfit after the game….it was very sleek
    -JAMES-

  34. curtbeingcurt permalink
    March 23, 2007 8:52 pm

    i also have this question: now that you have your own website, 38 pitchesn what do you think of Johnny Damon’s baseball video game league site?
    -JAMES-

  35. tmoriarty76 permalink
    March 23, 2007 9:03 pm

    Curt:

    I was wondering what you thought of the idea of having more room in the Hall of Fame for guys who have made great contributions to the game of baseball, guys like Johnny Pesky, Bill James, and Curt Flood who have had a great impact on the game of baseball but stand little chance of being inducted the way the Hall of Fame is set up currently. As a player, what do you think of the idea of some sort of honor for people who have impacted the game in a different way than your typical Hall of Famer?

  36. dorzio permalink
    March 23, 2007 9:06 pm

    Hi Curt. I’m interested in the work you are doing on the change-up this year. I always thought that that pitch was part of a big league pitcher’s basic repetoire. Did you throw it early in your career and then just get away from it, or is this the first time you are really starting to use it?

  37. waittillnextyear permalink
    March 23, 2007 9:09 pm

    I appreciate your candor and the fact that you take time to “talk” to the fans.
    Your fans,baseball fans.Baseball, the best game ever played. Sure I’m biased,it’s the game my father taught me,the special place he took me where we were pals and had a great time just rooting for OUR SOX.
    I know it was’nt so cheap back then that he could take me any time I wanted to go but it was affordable.
    Are you at all concerned that the game will someday be ruined by the outrageous salaries of todays ballplayers?
    Do you think there should be a salary cap?
    I hear the argument that no one seems to complain how much the top actors get per movie but that argument does not hold water. No matter how much they get people can still afford to go to the movies for 8 to 10 dollars a ticket as apposed to 40 dollars and up at Fenway.It’s a great game with an incredible history and I hope it survives long after we have rounded third and have headed Home.

  38. curtbeingcurt permalink
    March 23, 2007 9:10 pm

    FINAL question
    I am a baseball player in high school. i did not make the team ( freshman year) and i have been working out/training furiously. i have been playing since i was 4 and will NEVER give my dream up. any advice to give me when I go out my sophpmore year? any time when you were knocked down hard and overcame it?
    -JAMES-

  39. bigdog55 permalink
    March 23, 2007 9:25 pm

    Hi Curt,

    Do you ever just forget your book on a batter and just throw a pitch on just sheer instinct? If yes, how often?

  40. zebelkinton permalink
    March 23, 2007 9:43 pm

    Curt,

    WOW!!! What can I say you have a future in broadcasting I would say. I can see you doing Baseball Tonight with John Kruk(my favorite show). I can just see Millars huge smile and his joking laughs as he talks with Tek and you, poised as ever knowing that if you don’t get him out that you would never hear the end of him getting the “best of your curve ball”

    Anyway, I appeciated you responding to my ‘fun’ questions about your favorite all time movie and the rule you would throw out. Here are a few more questions as time allows.

    Q1 – Which five active starters would you choose if you were King for the day?

    Q2 – What’s the meaning behind your number 38?

    Thanks again,
    Zeb Elkinton (Corvallis, OR)

  41. bopsox permalink
    March 23, 2007 9:50 pm

    Curt, thanks for the write-up, it’s really fascinating stuff. Are you feeling like the “pitch to contact” philosophy is going along well? Considering you made it through the 7th with only throwing 85 pitches it must feel pretty good so far, even if you didn’t get to stretch it out as much as you had hoped. Anyway, keep up the great work, and best of luck going forward.

  42. linesider40 permalink
    March 23, 2007 9:50 pm

    i know this question is way off topic, but i am curious as to know how you are doing with chewing tobacco? i have had a miserable time with copenhagen. i just can not seem to kick the habit. it was a habit i got into during my playing days and it has stuck. i know it is miserable nasty stuff, but it just hangs over me.

  43. joe2sa permalink
    March 23, 2007 10:26 pm

    Great wrap up Curt.
    Love any Millar stuff you can give us.
    The Kentucky Fried Chicken Man cannot be forgotten!!!

  44. kennyc permalink
    March 23, 2007 11:09 pm

    Curt, just discovered your blog…i always knew you chatted up online (was a big deal right after you signed w the sox and was up at 2am chatting with fans).

    Just wanted to express how amazing this insider’s look into the game is. Really refreshing, gives us a new perspective, and especially learning the nuances that we’d never pick-up watching on tv.

  45. thebluesman permalink
    March 24, 2007 12:38 am

    I’m a huge baseball fan from Philly, but was never able to play because of spina bifida so forgive me if my question seems uneducated. You mentioned you like if your fielders position themselves pitch by pitch. How exactly does this work. Can all the fielders see the catcher’s signals and if so doesn’t their shifting around give the hitter a clue as to where the ball is going to be located or is the hitter to busy concetrating on the pitch to notice. PS. Come back to Philly next year and I’ll treat you to cheesesteaks all summer:)

  46. March 24, 2007 12:52 am

    These game summaries are incomparable. I’ve never seen anything like them, even from an outsider’s perspective, in any media form. And to have the pitcher himself giving them…. well, it’s a real treat as a baseball fan, and as a Sox fan, to get to read this. Thanks.

    No disrespect to John Kruk, but this blog is a thousand times more substantive than anything on ESPN, which prefers shoutfests and manufactured controversies to game analysis.

    I’m sure you could put your posts in book form, maybe highlight some of your favorite posts and comments, and be able to sell it at Christmastime to raise a little money.

    I’d recommend Keith Hernandez’s Total Baseball for fans looking to get a glimpse at the pitch-by-pitch strategy of the game, btw.

    My question is, when you come off the mound after the first and feel like you don’t have your best stuff, do you hope or expect it to show up? Or do you feel like it’s just not happening that day and you have to battle through?

  47. tomafield permalink
    March 24, 2007 3:01 am

    Thanks for the recap, Curt. I’m sitting here in my home library w/more than a dozen baseball books beside me, and none of them offers the kind of insight you just gave.

    Question: How *do* you communicate to set the infield defense the way you want it? The communication to Varitek is easy to see. I’m just curious how you get the right message to the defenders pitch-to-pitch.

    FYI, spring officially arrived in NE today. The sign? My son came home from kindergarten, grabbed his glove and said “Dad, can we go outside and play catch?”

    best,

    Tom

  48. tashkentrsfc permalink
    March 24, 2007 3:09 am

    I just have to join the many who are complimenting you for this blog. It is a fascinating look at baseball in general and the Red Sox in particular. As I am posted halfway around the world (I am a charter member of the TRSFC – Tashkent (Uzbekistan) Red Sox Fan Club), it takes a bit of doing to keep up with the Olde Towne Team. This blog is really a great addition to what is available over the Internet. I can’t be in Fenway Park now, but this blog gives some of the same feel.

    Finally, I can’t emphasize enough how great it is that someone who has reached the pinnacle of professional athletics would take the time to connect with fans in this manner. I’m going to make a donation to your ALS charity in appreciation.

    Thanks so much.

  49. fervent permalink
    March 24, 2007 7:28 am

    Love this blog and the whole concept. I look forward to the late October post around three in the morning describing the euphoria of another WS!
    You seem ready to roll Curt after yesterday’s outing. You sound confident in your new pitch and in the effectiveness of the split. Is there ever any fear of regression in these last two weeks, especially with the last start which is usually 2-3 innings? I mean do you reach a point where you can overprepare and screw up mechanics? If so is that a case for a shorter Spring Training? I know players would love that, but this would be a tangible reason in support.

  50. March 24, 2007 7:42 am

    I was LOLing when Millar was AB … too funny. Even when he knew what was coming (or thought he did) he still couldn’t pull the trigger and swing. Nice.

    As for ‘Tek, here’s hoping his stick comes back … he’s invaluable as the catcher and it would be nice if he was a threat at the dish again.

    Love the fact that your blog has an RSS feed, BTW … very cool.

  51. edru13 permalink
    March 24, 2007 7:57 am

    Curt, gotta be honest it doesn’t get much better than this. It’s refreshing to be able to get quotes/comments/thoughts etc. directly from the source that aren’t tainted or spun by the writers who have an agenda, or think that they are ‘the show’. Which happens all to often around here. Anyway, although the inside stuff with Millar is great, I think the best part of the blog was assessment regarding the simple math around pitching (below). As a coach, when you have young pitchers struggling the best thing you can do to build up their confidence is break it down to it’s simplest form. Which, as you’ve stated, is the fact that you can go out there with nothing but if you stay around the plate, you have a 65% chance of recording an out against the top guys. 70% to 75% chance against everyone else. You gotta love those odds. I believe that this type of reasoning is the quickest way a pitcher can gain his confidence back.

    “Simple math; the on base percentage for a base on balls is .1000, the on base percentage for even some of the easier to hit pitchers in the game is .300, or lower. If a hitter puts the ball in play, even the best hitters, he makes an out 65% of the time if he’s a GREAT hitter, 70% or more for most guys that play the game.”

  52. March 24, 2007 8:06 am

    Funny you mentioned that crooked number. Trup and Joe C. use that term all the time when calling games on the radio. I always thought it was just one of their funny phrases that they used and not something that was actually meaningful as a player. (Sad to see Trup gone by the way.)

  53. nsulham permalink
    March 24, 2007 8:51 am

    Hey Curt, as a rabid Sox fan I very much enjoy the blog. My fiance and I recently got engaged last weekend. You and Shonda seem to have a great marriage, as evidenced by you standing by her during her medical scare and her support for you as a husband always on the road. Any advice for a soon-to-be husband like myself?

  54. mikef88 permalink
    March 24, 2007 10:15 am

    Hi Curt,

    I’ve been a RedSox Fan my whole life ..(Long time 50 yrs.) Love Baseball .. Love the Pitcher vs. batter battle .. My questions have to do types of pitching ..
    Curve ball… R vs. R will it break from 2->8 or 12->6 or is it just what the individual pitcher throws ??
    Slider R vs. R Same movement as a curve ball .. But the arm slot is different??
    I have no idea on this ‘GRYO’ ball but it makes for good baseball talk. And we all know the Media needs all the help it can get …
    One more question .. Is it better to have multiple (3-5) different pitches that are average;
    or only (2) pitches Fast ball + change-up that are devastating ?

    Thanks in advance

    MikeF88

  55. acefox1 permalink
    March 24, 2007 10:39 am

    I know you have often talked about limiting walks as being a big part of your success. Seeing you go through another outing yesterday notching up 6 K’s with no BB’s made me wonder what you do differently to limit walks as successfully as you do.

    I know the obvious answer would be to throw strikes and go right after the hitter, but is there something different between you and other pitchers in either your mental approach or what you are able to execute in deep counts???

    Thanks again Curt and give Tek a shaving cream pie for that jack he hit out yesterday. We’re all pulling for him and know he’ll have a great year.

    Thanks again!!

    Deane

  56. azredsoxfan permalink
    March 24, 2007 10:40 am

    Curt,

    Whatever fandom you realized in the past will grow exponentially, as this season and your bloging continues. What a fantastic way to reach your fan base. Your description of the Millar at bat (and some of your replies to the idiot fan questions) border on hilarity. You didn’t mention if ‘tek was breaking up too, but I imagine he must’ve been.

    My question: The Red Sox – Yankees is one of the (if not the) greatest rivalry in all of sports. Sometimes the rivalry spills out into bench clearing brawls, which (from the fans perspective) only increases the intensity (last one 2003). Are bench clearings (that you may have been involved in)mostly dust-ups that are shortly forgotten by the players, or do they really linger throughout the season, and increase the passion, as they do between the fans? (see the bleachers!)

    Thanks.

  57. bdhotcorner permalink
    March 24, 2007 11:29 am

    Curt,

    I like that you are old school.

    I like it when pitchers, believe they are in the game as more than the man with the ball.

    It defys the addage – “Pitchers pitch, hitters hit, fielders field”

    I always believed that a pitcher who understood the defensive approach as well as the whole theory, was all talk no action. In regards to placement on a particular pitch and count. However, it is more thoery than practice. Sometimes, this theory sounds great but rarely is the follow through there. Why is it the pitchers responsibility to position the fielders?

    I know for a fact, I am not offering advice during an AB to a pitcher, unless I am catching or in the dugout with the pitching coach or manager. I may come in to settle down the pitcher, or give a break, but that is it. Do you feel that this is something that adds separation or a competitive advantage. Is it something you find gives you more piece of mind? Or is this something you learned from playing? Or is this an immediate reaction to a humbling experience? (Ie did you shake off an inside fastball, try and overthrow a slider, and the guy bangs it through, but it was a tweaner? Hardheadedness?

    Personally I find it is a convenient scapegoat. For example as an IF, there is nothing more unnerving that watching a pitcher come apart at the seams, consistently get behind give up a few hits, a couple of walks, and then make a good pitch and the batter gets a little flare that falls in or a seeing eye ground ball that ventures past the outstretched arm of a diving infielder, and then the pitcher boils and says “I need to understand what the defense is doing or they need to understand what I am doing”. However, when the IF makes a play that was unexpected they are 1st ones to high five off the field. I always get a chuckle.

    (I often wonder if that is the reason they practice separate from the rest of us.)

    Tendencies aside, situational baseball calls for players with instinctive reactions. As INF and OF players get comfortable with the pitchers, more often than not, it becomes almost instinctive to be in position. They understand the weaknesses of that particular game along with what is working or will see something and bring it to the catcher’s attention. (Personally, the catcher 1st then the pitcher – baseball etiquette)

    Its all follow through and trust. As a pitcher or an IF , understanding an approach is so different than instinctive approach.

    I think that with the changing of the game to more specific and role players, this thoery becomes more a personal issue.

    I appreciate your insight and hope to be able to discuss more as the season begins.

  58. oriolemagic permalink
    March 24, 2007 11:39 am

    I have to say, as an Oriole fan, that it’s wonderful to hear such a high quality pitcher like Curt Schilling saying that Erik Bedard has turned the corner. That just couldn’t mean more.

    Now maybe we can help you guys whoop up on the Yankees a little bit!

    As for the Kevin Millar stuff, I think it’s awesome that he’s still friendly with the Red Sox team. Just shows how really tight that 2004 group was.

  59. jsindal permalink
    March 24, 2007 11:53 am

    Great recap. Hope we can look forward to this during the season, as this is obviously far better than any sportswriter’s assessment of how you pitched!

    Good luck in ’07.

  60. vegasdeaner permalink
    March 24, 2007 1:34 pm

    Thanks for setting up this blog and sharing your thoughts with us. It is great to hear directly from you without the Boston media twisting up your words to create drama. This is you taking action to speak to the fans directly and so far it is great. I bet Dan Shaughnessy will find something negative to say about it. Looking forward to the next post.

  61. bosox7777 permalink
    March 24, 2007 9:20 pm

    This year you and beckett should win 20 easy.

  62. camuyarenas permalink
    March 25, 2007 11:51 am

    Hello Curt, I’m Vernon Santos from Camuy, Puerto Rico, and I have always admired you as a baseball player and as a human being, you have shown that you have a big heart not only for the mound but in life in general. Keep on being yourself no matter what, and my father and I wish yo good luck and a lot of health this year. Go win those 20 !!

  63. williamsfreak permalink
    April 7, 2007 1:35 pm

    this is the best part about inside baseball

  64. yankeearodfan permalink
    April 11, 2007 2:31 pm

    Mr. Schilling,
    I want to keep this respectful for as long as possible. I’m a Yankee fan, so I probably don’t belong here. But when Curt Schilling comes out with a blog, my first reaction is that it’s bound to be the most pretentious thing going. But I will keep an open mind. First things first: Did you get the name of the blog from the number of pitches you threw in your first start against the Royals? Easy, big guy. You’re supposed to have a sense of humor, aren’t you? There’s sure to be some interesting stuff in your blog. I’ll at least give it a chance. By the way, what do you think of Alex Rodriguez’s start? Was just curious. Let’s chat soon.

  65. mattlenny permalink
    December 24, 2007 11:42 am

    Curt,

    I understand why you can’t get super specific about an at-bat most of the time, but that explanation of the Millar at-bat in the 2nd was priceless for a true baseball fan. Thanks.

    Matt

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