In the fifth, I set down the first three hitters and was still a little short of my pitch count, so they sent up one extra hitter, Brad Harman. Wouldn't you know it, he lined a shot right back at me that smashed into my right forearm. The ball hit with a thud and just dropped to the ground. I was able to pick it up and throw Harman out at first, but by the time I got to the dugout, my forearm was more the size of my knee.
Greg Legg, our manager in Clearwater, came over to me and said he had seen that happen a lot where someone is facing an extra hitter and something bad happens. I think he felt as bad about it as I did.
The trainers iced it and did everything that they could to keep the swelling down and it seemed to help. The pain started to go away, too. The next day though, it looked pretty bad.
It doesn't seem like there's anything broken, but it is really swollen and ugly looking. I'm supposed to pitch on Saturday and I hope I'll be all right, but there is at least some doubt whether I'll be able to go. Personally, I think it might be okay. We'll see as we get closer.
Anyway, I have been throwing really well. I'm very happy with how everything is going. My velocity isn't quite back to where it was - I'm still between 88 and 90 m.p.h. - but that should come along. I talked to Franklin Perez, who had Tommy John surgery a year before I did and he said it takes a while, but it all comes back. Basically, I just throw as hard as I can without pushing it, but in a lot of ways, it's almost like learning to pitch again.
There are a lot of good players coming through here. I know first hand how hard Harman can hit a ball. He rocketed that one off of me. Carl Galloway looks good, too. He's a pure hitter and he works really hard at getting better. The only thing is that he's so skinny and he looks like he's getting skinnier. I keep telling him to eat a donut, but he just doesn't listen. He's gonna be a good one.
I'm looking forward to the weekend not just because I get to pitch on Saturday, but because my Mom is coming to town on Sunday. She's going to spend a week with me and I can't wait to see her. I bought here a big screen TV, which I'm going to conveniently keep at my place during the season. When I leave Clearwater, it's all hers. It's great because she'll be here for my birthday on Monday, too. Maybe she'll make a cake and I can get Galloway to eat some!
Well, that's all for now. I'll keep you posted on how things are going with my arm. Watch the site for updates on what kind of progress I'm making. If you have any questions or comments for me, just e-mail them to Phillies1964@att.net and they'll pass them along to me. I'll try to address them in the next journal entry.