My AA Rockies faced the AA Indians yesterday afternoon. We had the players show up 2 hours prior to game time for a full practice before the game. One of the parents offered to assist and worked with the hitters. Meanwhile, I did some outfield and infield drills with the rest followed by some live batting practice.
It was a warm day in Calgary, hot actually by Calgary standards. There was no humidity of course, something that I have come to love about living here. The temperature was 30C and it felt like 30C, not the 40C it would have felt like had I still been in Southern Ontario.
So, 4pm rolls around, game time. One of the previous times we played the Indians, we pitched a different pitcher in each inning. We tried a similar strategy yesterday. It seems to work. The other team can’t get used to one pitcher and their style. It gets a lot of players a little pitching experience and it ensures that pitchers don’t get tired or throw their arms out. It doesn’t allow for a player to build up much stamina, that is the downside. My pitchers this season seem to be slower in developing than I am used to, so this may be a good strategy for now.
We traded leads a few times during the game and our bats were explosive. We broke the game open with a stand up, bases load triple to deep right-centre. The Indians didn’t give up and kept chipping away. With time out (no new innings after 2.5 hours), we were in the bottom of the sixth with two outs. My final pitcher (or who was supposed to be my final pitcher) could not find the strike zone and I was forced to pull him. On the mound goes one of the previous days pitchers, something I normally do not like to do, but he threw less than 30 pitches. He got the job done with a sky high pop out to the second baseman to end the game on the victorious side, 16-13.
Pitching was solid. Defence was OK, we didn’t make many errors, we just weren’t as sharp as we could have been. The offence, when compared to Saturday’s lacklustre loss was dynamite.
I keep telling my players that if we come together with all three aspects (pitching, offence, defence), that there really isn’t a team in the league that we can’t defeat. I am hoping that the boys are starting to believe it.