Finally, we can breathe again, somewhat. We won 6-4 in a fairly close game against the home team China. I got the nod today in a weird circumstance, but I took it and ran with it. 3 of our guys hits homeruns today in a 2 inning offensive explosion for us. Unfortunately I was more focused on pitching then taking any pictures, so this is one of the few photo-less blogs I'll post.
It all started around noon today. I was headed out of a bike ride around 11:30, seeing the village some, and getting a iced coffee because it was hot as hell. After I was leaving the dining hall, with coffee in hand my phone rang in my bag, I stopped, had a look at the #, didn't know it, and left it. Less than 2 minutes later another ring...so I checked it out again, it was the team manager Kees. This time I picked it up, he heard I picked up, and passed the phone to head Coach Robert Eenhoorn, he asked if I could meet him at our apartments. Now, when he says something like this, it's usually serious, good or bad. I had an idea of what I was about to find out, but was preparing myself for the worst. When I saw him waiting outside the apartments with pitching coach Brian Farley I was pretty sure I knew what I was about to hear. Then we sat down and I hear "We want you to start today". Knowing how important this game was to the team, I felt privileged to be asked to go out there and get us a win.
So I found out about 6 hours before game time I would be starting, not a problem, I was just beginning to get back into reliever mode where I treat every day like game day, and mentally get into my zone every game.
For my normal pitching standards it was an odd game, I went 6 innings (normal) struck out 6 (also fairly normal) walked 1 (good), and gave up six hits (average). The weird part is, I didn't have any good stuff today. I missed more than 50% of my spots, I finally figured out in the last inning I pitched that my front side was opening up, causing my balls to go everywhere. But on the good side, this was the game in my life where I broke the most bats, by far. I broke 8 bats today, 8. The most before this was probably 3. So, I guess that means the inside corner was working, but that was it.
Anyways, I went my 6, came out of the game at about 97 pitches up 6-2, to be relieved by Rob Cordemans (Dutch team ace for the past 12 years). He did well, went 2 1/3, gave up 2 runs, and kept it a close game. In the 9th they loaded the bases with 1 out and had already scored a run, when David Bergman got out of the jam, with a strikeout and a fly out to center. I was so nervous, pacing back and forth in the dugout, wow, what a game.
Glad we won, and a day off tomorrow will do us good (even though we have a short practice in the late afternoon). We are 1-3 now, along with Canada, and China is 1-2(1 suspended game). We have Cuba on Monday, Canada Tuesday, than undefeated Korea Wednesday, and the medal rounds follow. We pretty much need to win our next three to make it to the top 4, but 2 might do the job, we'll see!!