Hey, everyone! Well, I can honestly say my life has slowed back down a little, and I’ve been able to relax a lot more since I last wrote. I’m getting used to the scheduling, and I’ve been able to spend a lot more time with my family, which has been really nice. I’m looking forward to coming back to Oakland and getting to throw in front of the home fans again, but we still have 4 games to go before that chance presents itself.
It’s been a tough stretch since the all-star break, and I’m sure you are all well aware of the team’s struggles. It’s frustrating, because no one enjoys losing. I feel like we’re close to reeling off a stretch where we win 8 out of 9 or something…but we just need a win or two to kick start us and get us over the hump. We have Duchscherer going tonight, and that alone gives us a tremendous chance to win a game.
This is my first time ever in Canada, and I like it. Toronto’s a very clean city, and there is some fantastic architecture here. If you haven’t seen it ever, find a picture of the CN Tower. It’s right next to the Rogers Centre, and it’s absolutely incredible. Supposedly, it’s the tallest, free-standing structure in the world. Standing underneath it, the size is so incredible…it’s tough to fathom the process it would take to build something that big. I’m debating going up in the tower and taking some pictures today, but we’ll see if time will allow for that…
I was informed yesterday that I was back on the ballot for AL Rookie of the Month for July. It’s nice to be mentioned again, but I think the odds of getting picked over a couple of the great rookie hitters in the AL are pretty small. Chris Davis (Rangers) has exploded this year, and I know he had a monster month in July. Counting the minor leagues, he’s hit 34 HR this year…that’s ridiculous. And Alexei Ramirez, the other player on the AL ballot, hit .341 in July. Either way, it’s fun to be talked about among the top rookies in the league.
I want to take a quick second to thank everyone for the support I received as I approached and eventually surpassed the Major League record for consecutive scoreless innings to start a career. I honestly didn’t think the record would be that big of a deal…it’s such an obscure record, and it had been held for so long that I honestly didn’t know that it was something that would be kept track of. However, at Elias, I think they keep track of the amount of sunflower seeds spit in a dugout each night. Consequently, I got a lot more attention with it than I anticipated, and that really surprised me. My teammates have been very supportive, which has been really nice, since they’re the main reason the streak exists in the first place. It’s obvious I’m not a strikeout pitcher, so I rely on my defense so heavily night-in and night-out. And, from what I can recall, I think we’ve made 1 error in my 34 innings so far. And at any point, if there had been an unearned run that scored, the streak would’ve been over. But they keep making the plays, so I keep doing my best to get groundballs.
Real quick, I’ll answer a series of questions by closetasfan from the last journal entry. I know there have been more questions, and I’m sorry I likely can’t get to them, but he reeled off several in a row, and I figured I could answer a few of them pretty quickly…
How have Embree, Foulke, Street and some of the other guys affected you in that they’ve dealt with a lot of success and some recent tough losses?
Those guys, as well as pretty much everyone else, have been great. Anytime I’ve needed to know something, I know I can ask them and get an honest, up-front answer. We have a really young team, especially the pitching staff, and to have those guys to look up to and learn from has been a tremendous help.
How is it dealing with all the national attention?
Like I said earlier, it shocked me how much attention I’ve gotten. I’m a middle reliever on a team that’s fallen out of contention, and I feel like I’m just doing my job: going out and getting outs. But Kristy Fick, who is our Player and Media Relations Manager, has been EXTREMELY helpful in scheduling interviews and coordinating it with our on-the-field schedule. I don’t know if she reads this or not, but if so, "THANK YOU SO MUCH, KRISTY!"
What kind of avatar do you envision yourself getting for some of the MLB based games next year??
Hopefully one that portrays me well! Not one that I have to go in and fix all the attributes on after I get the game! :)
Have you thought about a Brad Ziegler bobblehead at all?
How much nicer are the travel accomodations in the MLB?
Very nice. We don’t have roommates anymore, the hotels are usually very nice, and we fly first-class charter flights all the time. It’s a long way from the 14-hour bus trips in the New York-Penn League.
2008 MLB Stats: 1-0, 0 SV, 0.00 ERA, 26 G, 34 IP, 19 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 15 K, 9 BB
2008 AAA Stats: 2-0, 8 SV, 0.37 ERA, 19 G, 24.1 IP, 15 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 20 K, 4 BB
It was exciting to see Gio Gonzalez make his debut last night. Hopefully he can give us a little spark in the rotation, and we can reel off a stretch of wins. Duke gets it rolling for us tonight! Enjoy the weekend! See ya at the ballpark!