I am sitting in our clubhouse before the game tonight and figured I had some time on my hands to describe my pre-game routine. Because I am starting, I do not have to be at the field until batting practice starts at 4 pm (other pitchers report at 2:30 pm). The starting pitcher is the first to take batting practice. Being in an organization in the National League, the Reds want their pitchers to have the basic skills of handling a bat down. I lay down about 5 bunts, 3 slash bunts, and finish by taking about 7-10 swings.

From 4:15 until about 5:30 pm I really do not have much to do. I might get a light snack or review the opponents’ stat sheet, but just try and find something to pass the time. At 5:30 I will get my uniform on and head to the training room. I grab two heat pads, one for my shoulder and one for my back, just to begin the warm-up process. Some days I might do a light shoulder workout using small weights, again just to aid my warm-up.

The last thing I do before I head to the field is look over the opponents’ lineup and look for a few specific categories. The categories that give me a little insight into how to pitch certain batters is walks, strikeouts, average, RBIs, and stolen bases. My on-field warm-up begins around 30 minutes before game time.

Coming into today’s game, we have lost six straight and, on top of that, my last two starts have been sub-par. The good news is that we are still in second place and only back one game of West Michigan. Hopefully we win tonight and get back to our winning ways.