Thompson Tuesdays

We've heard about the training, we've heard about the brawls, we've heard about Kristen (he still loves you), but what we've been waiting for is the games! Sean has too, and he's gotten his first two outings out of the way. How'd he do, and more importantly, what did he have to say about his own performance? In a <B>FREE PREVIEW OF PREMIUM CONTENT</B> Sean breaks down his first taste of big league action, as only he can.

So, Wednesday was my first game, my first big league spring training appearance, and my mood and my nerves were surprisingly mellow.  I thought that maybe I just hadn't gotten close enough to the mound, or the hitter hadn't stepped in yet.  First of all, I was in the pen throwing way before I should have.  I warmed up too long, though I thought that my reasoning was headed in the right direction. 

Everyone had been talking about the 'first time,' and how much their adrenaline was flowing, so since I tend to get worked up anyway, and my adrenaline starts to flow pretty easily, I thought that if I threw a little more than usual, it would even out that rush when it hit.  I got out on the mound, and truthfully, I was very comfortable. No nerves, no butterflies, and the back side of my pants were not brown, they were white, ALL WHITE.  

Anyway, I got the first two guys on fly outs, or should I say the second guy flied out, the first guy hit a scorcher down the left field line, and EY made a nice grab.  Yeah, that's right, Eric Young, made an awesome defensive play...for me...while I was on the a San Diego Padres sump la junta haters!  HA!  

No, but then here comes the best part.  So, yeah, I walked the next guy on four straight.  It was really a learning experience for me ya know, I mean I guess baseball really isn't any different in the big leagues, apparently you still have to throw strikes when you have two outs.  So he is on first, and I knew he was going to steal but hey, I wanted him to have a better view of what my catcher was signing to me, plus I wanted him to have a shorter run to home plate ya know.  I mean come on, figure it out Thomps, ya know?  He is on second, the next guy smoked one into the gap for a double, and the run scored.  From there, I proceeded to walk the next two.  

In my defense, in all honesty, I just wanted all my friends that were there, and the fans too, to see me talking to Bochy all cool and stuff.  He came out, gave me a few words of wisdom, and sent me on my way into a dugout full of blank faces and even a few faint sorrowful faces that were all pointed in my direction.  

It was quite an experience, I guess you could say I got my feet wet, though really, I almost drowned out there.  I'm telling you though , it was awesome.  The one thing that I will say is that I should have stayed with what had worked.  I got two big league hitters out, and instead of doing what worked, I tried to go harder, snap that curveball sharper, pull the string on that change better.  I shouldn't have tried to better what I had already done, I should have just repeated it.  

I'm not going to lie though, the rest of that day, and that night, it kind of hit me a little harder.  Yes, I know it was my first outing, but you know, this could be my only opportunity.  Now I don't plan on going anywhere, but who knows what could happen.  I have heard that some people only get that chance once, and that you do everything you can with the chance you receive.  I just felt like I had let myself, my family, and everyone that had ever pushed for me, down.  I was really disappointed in myself.  I got tears a few times, I don't care if you all know it, I'm human just like the next guy, maybe I have a little more sissy in me, but just the same.  

It was hard, for me, I have been doing this my whole life, and what, because I know a few of the guy's names, or they make tons more money, or it's a big stadium with tons of fans, what, I'm supposed to completely forget how to do what I have been doing my whole life?  It just seemed for a short while there that I was taking up someone else's shot to make it all the way.  

Ok, now, after I sucked it up, and stopped, I guess you could say, feeling sorry for myself, I pitched again yesterday.  Same feeling as always, no nerves, just waiting, real intense, but with a patient mind, and an aggressive but subtle approach with every movement and breath I was taking.  This time though, I was not trying out for the "Playing Catch In the Bullpen" Olympics.  I did my normal routine that I would normally take, and then I headed to the mound.  First three hitters in my first inning--gone within ten pitches.  Second inning, one hit, (my fault though, I threw a soft changeup, it stayed up...I mean even the cooks in our lunchroom would have gotten a hit) it was weak though, and then I got the other three to fly out.  So, in my near death experience two or three days prior,  it was looking pretty grim, but on day two I managed to do what my job description had said to do.  It was good for me, I made pitches, definitely could have done things a little differently, but no runs scored, and after the hit I gave up, now the cooks want BP. 

All in all, it was a good day, until I went down to our strength guy, and he gave me my conditioning.  Yeah, not so sure I like talking to a person that inflicts pain and strain on body parts I didn't even know I had, but I'm alive.  Anywho, that's it for me for now but, oh wait, ok.  I have to do a kareoke in front of the entire big league side, don't worry all the first time invites do, and I need suggestions fast.  You all have until at least tomorrow to give them to me so I can get on it.  Until then.

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