I don't want to make a big deal out of two starts but at the same time I'm a huge momentum guy when it comes to baseball. Or pretty much life in general. It's all about vibes and my intuition is telling me that coming on Starting 9 is all about good vibes. Just look at the cold hard data:
Good to get the excel spreadsheet fired up. Ctrl +1 for cell formatting is one of the all time great shortcuts in life. I can't stress that enough for all my cube rats out there hustling the Microsoft suite. Get your shortcuts first then your vlookups second, but I digress.
Point is there's a a couple of 67+ GameScores to our name through our first two starting pitcher interviews. Two guys that do it completely different with wildly unique approaches. A pure two-pitch flamethrower in Kevin Gausman next to an emerging lefty with plus feel and 4-commandable pitches. I can't encourage both interviews enough so definitely go check those out.
Bigger picture I figure I'll circle back with my two biggest learning lessons from talking to these guys.
For Guasman it was all about pitching and playing to your strengths. It's not about trying to fit some undefine role of being this complete starting pitcher that makes everybody in the org happy. It took him years - all of which in the MLB - for him to get comfortable with his stuff. And even then it took a big nudge from the Giants for him to commit to being a two-pitch starter, something I would have long thought was long dead. The journey and story of rediscovering your confidence hit home with me. I'll always be a Gausman fan after reflecting on our conversation.
Cole Irvin was different. You could just hear it in his voice that there's no other place in the world for him then a mound in MLB. He was talking about establishing green zones (aggressive spots in the strike zone) so he can get a hitter to chase into the yellow zone (his soft spots on the outer parts of the plate). I never heard it put that way and it makes tons of sense when you consider his commitment to changing speeds. Not just throwing the hardest velocity, but really mastering the gaps and differences in his pitches to create the biggest advantages with respect to velocity. I know. Heavy shit.
We're looking to add to our catalogue as the season progresses. I talked a lot this morning about our Omaha trip and how it rekindled a love for the game to see Cooper's 10u team play so passionately. It was awesome to get back to that level after spending years and years of just chasing the biggest and brightest stage. Some times it's good to take a step back and remember why you're here in the first place. That was this Saturday for me as I got both sides of the Omaha experience. You can read all about it here if you missed it -
As for the show, we'll be back tomorrow morning with a heartfelt episode about the game, our relationship with it, how we met, what family means to us and a whole host of vulnerable exercises. Then we'll be back again Thursday with some CWS championship preview and hopefully another starting pitcher. After all, who wouldn't want to be next man up? The boys are rolling and I see no signs of slowing down.
Or as we sayin Chicago, all gas no brakes. Sprinter Van edition.
PS - We're getting a lot of support from Penn National to launch some exclusive bets alongside out guests as the show grows. We did a +210 one for Cole Irvin over the weekend. Also did another home run prop based on the super computers. Keep your eyes peeled for more of this kinda stuff. I think we're on to something where you talk to us and then you go out and dominate. So if there's something to that, maybe we can all make an extra buck or two for the weekends. Just something to think about.