Well, this week sure didn’t go as well as last week. Our record is now 7-4, which is still good enough for second best record in the league. We have been playing really good baseball as a team, and the games we have lost, we feel that we had plenty of opportunities to win.
Our Wednesday night loss to the Scottsdale Scorpians was a game of high anticipation with Bryce Harper playing in his first professional game since being taken as the #1 overall pick by Washington Nationals in the 2010 MLB draft. I know the game was covered pretty well in the media but I thought it would be interesting to give you guys a player’s perspective. In one of the first few innings, a ball was hit to the right field wall, where Harper was playing, and he had his first chance to make a play. After picking the ball up at the fence, he fired a low line drive throw to the cut off man that had many of the players talking about how impressive his arm was. It was a very strong throw. While Harper was walking up to the plate for his first at bat, everyone was anxious to see what he would look like facing a professional pitcher. He took a hard swing at the first pitch that he saw, and popped it up to the shortstop. After going one for four with a double, and a few hard hit balls, it was pretty clear that he had some pop in his bat.
With the addition of a few new pitchers to the team, they have decided to move me to the bullpen and on Thursday game against the Scottsdale Scorpians I had my first appearance. I came in to the game in the fourth inning with a 2-0 lead. After a good fourth inning, I ran into a little trouble in the fifth. I gave up a one out single, and after an errant pickoff throw where the runner advanced to third base, the runner scored on a ground ball error to first. Altough it was an unearned run, it is still a run that goes against your team. Luckily it didn’y hurt us too much as we went on to win the game 4-2.
After starting the last year and a half with the High-A and Double-A teams for the Angels, it is a pretty easy transition for me to the bullpen. I was in the bullpen since I first signed with the angels in 2007. The Angels wanted me to become a starter half way through last season so I could develop a few offspeed pitches that could help me make it to the big leagues. After finishing the 09 season fairly strong, the Angels dsecided to keep me as a starter for 2010. When I was informed that I was coming to the AFL, I wasn’t sure whether I was going to start or relieve. But after doing both, I have to say I enjoy getting the ball more often as a reliever. Call it competitive nature, but I just want to be out there as often as possible to help my team win.
Hopefully we will come out next week and get back on the winning track. And now that I’m going to be coming out of the bullpen, I will have more of those opportunities to contribute. Even though this league is to show off your individual skills, everyone still wants to win more than anything. Because when it comes down to it, winning in this game isn’t an individual effort. You play as a team, you win as a team and everyone gets recognized for it.
I’ll see you guys again next week, and let you know how the team and I are doing. Thank you for stopping by and next week’s entry I will get to all of the questions and comments that have been left over the last couple of weeks.