Wednesday, 24 October 2012

First Game Back

I wrote not too long ago about throwing my first bullpen since my injury. Today I'm going to write about my first outing since my injury. My last official outing was on July 1st in Holland, so it had been nearly four months since I pitched in a game. The Sydney Blue Sox had an exhibition game last week against the Manly Eagles who are a top grade team that play in the Sydney State League and I was on the roster to play against them.

I was scheduled to throw the 6th inning of the game. So I started to stretch and get ready around the end of the 4th inning. It was a nice warm day in Manly so it didn't take me too long at all to get ready. After about 12 pitches in the pen, I entered the game in the 6th inning. I had to face the 4, 5 and 6 hitters in the Manly line up.

The first pitch I threw was a strike pulled foul, so I was glad to start my first hitter off with a strike. The next pitch however was a slider that the hitter hit straight back at me that left me laying flat on the ground. Luckily the infielders up the middle made the play to get the out. As I got back up I was thinking to myself "Of course the first batter I face will hit the ball straight back at me". I still don't have full range of motion in my left arm, so fielding come backer's are still a small concern for me to field, but luckily I got out of the way of this one. I then struck out the next two batters I faced to end the inning. I'm not sure if I actually took a breath out there on the mound, but man it felt good to be back.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Back on the Bump

Its been nearly three months since I took that fall from grace after attempting to slam dunk, but yesterday I took another big step in my rehab. As the title suggests, I stepped on a mound for the first time and threw a bullpen. Its taken a lot of hours of physiotherapy and a lot of patience, so it was a very sweet moment for me. I've been throwing about four times a week for the last three weeks to get my arm in shape. Even though I haven't been able to catch a ball thrown to me from over 70 feet, I felt like I was ready to get back on the mound and start to get ready to pitch in a game.

I stepped onto the mound with my heart beating a million times a minute. To say the least I was extremely nervous. You're probably wondering why I would be nervous. There wasn't anyone trying to hit the ball, just the catcher and me, but I was nervous on how I would feel. How my right arm would feel, how my left arm would feel, how good my control would be. I said a little prayer and then I threw my first pitch, my second, third, fourth then fifth. All five of those pitches were balls and were nowhere near the strike zone. My catcher told me to step off the mound and breath, something I had forgotten to do those first few pitches. Once I took the mound again everything started to feel good again. I was throwing strikes and apart from a slight mechanical change in my front arm, I felt great. The ball was coming out of my hand great, I had good control, my change up had movement and I was throwing it for strikes.

This bullpen was far better than what I thought it would be. Everything that I've done up until this point has been worth it. All the hours of physiotherapy, all the time spent sleeping with my arm in a brace, all the time I've spent at home trying to straighten my arm, bend my arm, twist my hand instead of going out with friends have been worth it. I'm still hoping I will be ready by November 2nd for the opening series of the Australian Baseball League against Cavalry. I've come this far, and worked so hard, no reason I can't keep working hard to be ready in three weeks time.

"For nothing is impossible with God" - Luke 1:37