Game 1 4/2/07 @ KC
Not sure where to even start. Two words sum it up best, no command. Can’t remember a game where I couldn’t make adjustments but today was certainly one of those. Not so much the secondary pitches but no fastball command is not something that happens much, if at all, over an entire game (even if the ‘game’ for me only lasts 4 innings).
We grabbed a quick lead on David’s double, which followed Youk’s single and immediately I’m in a spot that pitchers crave. Shutting down the other team after you take a lead. It can be a morale booster to your team, and a morale breaker to the opponent. KC was coming off a spring training that saw them hit better than every team but one in Arizona so I knew they were swinging the bats well.
The bullpen wasn’t good or bad, felt fine and got loose easy.
Started Dejesus off with some fastballs, which felt like they got more life as I started to throw. Got in on him for a fly ball to right. Grud worked the count to 3-1, laying off the first change at 1-1, and a FB down and away ended up middle in for a hard single to left. Had Teahan down quick and left a split up for another single 1-2 (I think). First pitch slider to Sweeney didn’t slide, bad miss. Next slider was better and he stayed on it and hit it hard to right to load the bases. Gordon worked a 7 pitch AB, and chased a good split down for out #2. A lengthy AB from Shealy, saw me go to the split 3-2 which he took for ball 4 to walk in a run. I can’t remember if I ever done that? Made a lot of mistakes inside this one AB and it ended up costing us.Overthrowing some balls when I had a chance to end the AB earlier and missing spots too badly to even get him to offer. Gload went 0-1 on a FB away and then I got in on him with a 1-0 cutter for the final out. 33 pitches, bases loaded walk, 1-1 game.
Not the start I was hoping for. Walking off the mound I knew my FB command was crap, and that I’d need to get it right fast.
Buck led off the second with a rope to SS on a 3-2 fastball. Anytime I get to a 3-2 count I am bothered, but getting behind and into deep counts on primarily fastballs is a bad sign. You have to have the ability to make adjustments off mistakes, something I’ve always felt I do, and today I am not sure I did it more than once. Got Pena to two strikes and hung a split badly that he crushed for a triple. Worked some FB and cutters to Dejesus and ended up getting him looking at strike 3 on a fastball away. Two outs again, RISP. Grud hits a 2-0 change that again leave up in the zone, to RF and it’s 2-1. Work Teahan FB, change and get him chasing a split to end the inning.
Third inning starts with Sweeney flying out to center on a 1-0 change up. Gordon works another 7 pitch AB before freezing on a hanging split on the outside corner. I get Shealy to end the inning with a 2 seamer inside, for a GB to third. Gload grounds out on a split to start the second inning. Buck then hits a 1-1 2 seam FB down the LF line for a double. I then throw Pena 5 FBs, and walk him on a 3-1 count. None of the pitchers are anywhere near where I am trying to throw them and I’m wrestling with that while trying to dismiss it, and get the next guy. Dejesus hits a FB to left and again, I am 2 outs with RISP. Grud crushes a FB away that’s up, to deep right for a 2B and Teahan hits a first pitch back door slider that never gets to the back door back up the middle for another run. The inning ends on a 1-2 split that Mike chases.
8 Hits on 7 different counts. A huge bug for me last year was first pitch hits, which doesn’t happen until the final two hits in the fourth today. All five runs score with 2 outs. I had more than ample chances to make this a game, and never did. Inconsistent command and horrific execution cost us the game. When you are facing a guy like Gil certain things can make it easier or harder. He’ll walk some guys if you give your offense a chance. His stuff is so good that when offenses have to press against him, or their down and need to make something happen, he can eat you up. After the first he settled into a nice groove and executed. He pitched a hell of a game and hats off to the KC fans, this towns always been a great baseball city with great sports fans, pretty sure the day and the standing O will be lifetime memories, just always hope you aren’t the guy on the other side when someone has one of those kinds of days. I never let us get into the game after the first. Every inning they pushed and I didn’t push back.
Off day tomorrow and then Josh gets the ball on Wednesday.