Midway Point

Wednesday’s game marked the halfway point in the Arizona Fall League
Season. A loss to the Phoenix DesertDogs brings us in at 10-9 and just
one game back in the battle for the AFL National Division.

We have been playing somewhat streaky as of late; we’ll
win a handful of games and subsequently lose a couple. However, we
are all taking it in stride because we know any day could be a turning
point in the season. Judging by the way things are panning out, it
looks to be a tight race for the lone playoff spot.

I’ve had some ups and downs of my own as well. This past Saturday I
gave up 5 runs (1ER) while only pitching 1/3 of an inning. Falling
behind in the count early never works in a pitcher’s favor. It leads
to walks and allows hitters to expect a certain pitch in a given
situation.

On the flip side, during my next appearance I put up 2 scoreless
frames. It’s always easier said than done, but pitching to contact
rather than trying to paint the corner makes for a lot less work for
yourself in the long run. Besides keeping your pitch count down, it
also forces hitters to swing at your pitch because they know you have
been throwing strikes and they might not get another good pitch that
they think they can handle during the context of the at-bat.

The highlight of my most recent appearance was facing Sean Doolittle. Not only is he a good hitter, but he is also a fellow Shawnee High School graduate in New Jresey, where we attended high school. After falling behind in the count 3-0, I battled back to bring the count full. After fouling off a pitch or two, Sean hit a soft fly ball to shallow left field which I thought was going to drop in for a hit; but Desmond Jennings came out of nowhere to make a nice sliding catch for the second out of the inning.

That was the first time that we have faced each other, which is a surprise considering we play each other so frequently. Hopefully there will be some more opportunities in the future.

That about wraps this week up. No one was left sleeping on the bus; but setting up a broken folding chair that collapses easily is always good for a laugh in the bullpen no matter what day it is.

1 Comment

Mike, the Rays still owe a player to be named later to the O’s for the Chad Bradford deal. Since the deal hasn’t been completed yet, some are speculating that the O’s are scouting one of the Rays players in the AFL. Have any of you guys been told anything from the team? Have you guys (the players) talked about this? Does this change your approach to how you treat the games in the AFL?

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