It’s been a while since I did one of these, so I’ll start with how my season’s being going so far.
It’s been kind of weird for me. The wins aren’t where I’d like them to be, but it seems like I’m going through that little stretch of bad luck that I always seems to go through once or twice every season. Every bloop seems to find its way in at costly times, but that’s the baseball goes, and I’m sure it’s going to turn around. It always has for me in the past.
Not only are the bloops falling in when I make good pitches, but it seems like it goes hand-in-hand that when I do make a mistake, it gets hit for a home run or a double off the wall. You get away with a lot of mistakes over the course of a long season like we play, but you go through times when every mistake gets hit, and that’s kinda what’s been happening lately.
Because I’ve been through this before, it definitely helps to get you through it. My rookie year, I started off 0-5, and when you look back at something like that, it makes you really respect and appreciate every win you get. You just have to keep working your game plan and trust that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. That’s why we play 162 games. You can turn it around big-time.
You see guys who start the year hitting .600, but they’re not going to hit .600 all year. Eventually they’ll cool off. And the same goes for guys who start off hitting .200; a lot of those guys will eventually have their numbers at the end of the year. So you have to keep plugging away, no matter how you start, and just keep trying to get better every time out.
We haven’t scored a ton of runs in most of my starts, and maybe that’s because of the matchups I’m getting as the No. 1 starter for the first time in my career. But it’s the same deal there. I know we have a lot of good hitters, and as long as I concentrate on doing my job, the guys will come around at the plate and get me some runs — no matter who the other pitcher is.
My job is basically to stick around as long as possible, get into the seventh inning or deeper. When you’re facing the other team’s best pitcher, you know you probably aren’t going to get a lot of runs in the first five innings, but what we do well as an offense is drive the pitcher’s pitch count up and get him out of the game after five or six innings, and we’re a team that scores a lot of our runs late, so I just want to keep us close until we start to get into the other team’s bullpen.
You have to really stick it out. It’s gonna come. It’s just baseball.
As a team, we’re obviously doing pretty well so far. We know that not too many people expected much out of us this year, but we knew in Spring Training that we had a lot of talented players here, and we’re showing everyone that by playing some great baseball.
People outside of our clubhouse might be surprised by what we’re doing, but we’re not surprise. We knew all along what we’re capable of doing, and we’re doing it.
I’d like to be a bigger part of winning games, so that’s a little bit tough, but my wife, LeeAndra, does a great job of keeping my head up. She’s at every one of my starts, on the road and at home, and she’s always there for me.
She gets just as frustrated as I do when I’m getting some bad breaks out there, but she’s great at reminding me that I’m doing all I can. After a game you’re kind of amped up, having put everything you had into what you’re doing, and when you have a game like I did against the Twins the other day, when we came back and took the lead, then I got a couple of bad breaks while letting them back into it, you’re pretty frustrated. But she does a great job of calming my down and telling me everything’s going to even out. And it always does.
My stuff is fine. My body’s fine. My head’s fine. The results will come. I know they will, and when they do, we’ll be that much better as a team. It’s been a fun year so far, and we just got Frank Thomas back yesterday, so we’re expecting to do some big things and keep surprising people who doubted us. And I’m looking forward to being a bigger part of it.