Wednesday, July 16, 2008

throwing well....running bad

Pitched a complete game shutout tonight to get my record to 6-0. My ERA is back under 2.0, and I'm still leading the league with 2 saves. I also played in the all star game last sunday and had a relatively easy inning despite walking a batter.

My changeup has become an extremely effective pitch for probably the first time ever. Its a pitch I've worked on and tinkered with since I was 11 years old, but at times I couldn't even comfortably throw it over the plate. I know that sounds weird as most non-ball players would think that throwing a slower version of your fastball would be relatively easy. But for the pitch to be effective it has to be thrown in the same rhythm and cadence as your fastball. This means your effort and arm speed must look close enough to fool batters at the time of release. The pitch also needs to have similar spin and you need to have good control of it. I've always struggled with blending it with my fastball, and I've rarely had great control of it (although my control greatly improved a few years ago when I was throwing it all of the time in an attempt to add it to my repertoire). But this year its just fallen in to place. Its a pitch I feel comfortable throwing in any count, and its given a new dimension to my fastball (ie an 88 mph fastball looks 95 mph after a hitter sees a few changeups). Also my changeup tends to tumble down and away from right handed hitters which contrasts nicely with my two seam fastball that runs in when thrown at its hardest.

My splitter has been effective, but my control problems with it has forced me to limit it to a mostly strikeout pitch. In a lot of situations I'm trying to pitch to contact to save pitches or to get a double play ball, and the change up is much more effective at that.

As for poker, sigh. I had a great start to the month. I was running and playing well and quickly was up $5k despite some ugly sessions at 15/30 limit and 10/20 limit. I really felt very confident in my 6max NL game. Then I faced the last week. Over the last week I've quickly given back that 5k due to some bad plays, and some really bad running. I'm running about $3k under expectation for the last 6k hands or so, and I've definitely made some spewey plays that cost me a couple of buy-ins out of some frustration.

I'm still up slightly on the month, and I still feel pretty good about my game. But its certainly taken the luster off of my attempt to grind 20-25k hands this week.

I'm also really excited about The Dark Knight coming out this friday. It looks to be a classic and I can't wait to go see it. Plus the X-files movie is coming out a week later, and that should be awesome as I'm a huge x-files fanboy.

Planning on going to see 311 and Snoop Dogg on friday. This will add to the other great concerts I've seen this summer that include Dave Matthews Band, and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones/Dropkick Murphies. The Bosstones show was last week and it was simply awesome. Only the second time I've been able to see my favorite band live, and it was almost as good as the first. I knew 95% of the lyrics and sang and danced along to ever song. The band looked like they were having a great time and I really hope they consider putting out a new album when they finish their summer tour.

I'm still planning on adding some thoughts about Vegas and various casinos in another post, but I didn't feel like getting to that tonight. Also hoping to getting back to blogging more often, but maybe shorter entries.



1 comment:

Matthew Feldman said...

where you at, jim? looking forward to an update.

also, littlebu, scottwire and i have started swapping some HH and we wonder whether you'd be interested. let us know.