Saturday, April 12, 2008

Just throw the ball

If anyone has ever pitched before, they've probably also struggled on the mound. It happens to everyone whether it's in Little League or high school or college or whatever (except Jake Peavy, probably). Inevitably, struggling on the mound leads to one piece of advice from the pitching coach. Stop thinking and just throw. Apparently, that's what helped Evan Meek out on Thursday:

"Definitely a positive," Meek said. "It was fun. It was the first time I had a good time."

It was the first time he cut loose with his fastball, too. In his first three games, Meek's fastball floated at 84 to 86 mph. Thursday night, he zipped his fastball about 10 mph faster. He struck out Derrek Lee with a 97-mph fastball.

"That's kind of what we're hoping to see," manager John Russell said.

I don't know what happened, but I hope Jeff Andrews took Meek aside and said, "Kid, you've got a 97 mph fastball, what the hell are you afraid to throw it for? Cut that thing loose, man! A little bit of wildness'll just put the fear of god into 'em when you unleash that thing." Seriously, with more 97 mph fastballs and less fear and maybe I'll think this front office wasn't so far off with thinking Meek had the stuff to make it.