So I started my third game yesterday and it was a good one. I took a no hitter into the seventh inning before giving up my only hit of the game. While the results were special, I didn't feel like I did anything above and beyond to get the results. Perhaps it was just the right team for me to face at the right time, but I feel like I can pitch like that every game. Now, I don't expect to have the kind of results I did every time out, but as far as execution goes I think I should be able to replicate that on a consistent basis. It was funny, looking back at last night, how relaxed I was. I was on the mound without a care in the world. I wasn't really thinking about throwing a no-hitter, even though I was aware of it. I was just trying to execute every pitch and throw the right pitches in the right situation. That's one thing that I like so much more than college, and I think it makes you better as a pitcher too. In college, your coach calls all the pitches and you have limited leeway to shake off to something you are more comfortable with throwing. But, in pro ball every pitch is your decision so you are thinking through every at-bat so much more than in college. And when it is your pitch that you are throwing it seems to be so much easier to execute than if it came from the man in charge. I don't know, maybe its the type of pitcher I am. I can't blaze my 97 mph fastball by people or throw an absolutely nasty slider and people will get themselves out. I really have to construct an at-bat, set the hitter up, and execute the pitch to get them out. So, its really a nice change for me to be able to call my own game and out think the hitter.
One reporter asked me yesterday, "Through three starts you have some pretty good numbers, as a 35th round pick did you need some early success to give you confidence?" Inside I was laughing my ass off...But I told him, "Definitely not. I don't see myself as a 35th round pick (thats a whole other blog). I expect these kind of performances out of myself and I would not settle for anything less." And thats one thing I've really noticed about this level of baseball. We all know the draft is a stupid process that doesn't reward those who it should, but I didn't know how stupid it was till I got here. Success is not determined by where you get drafted or how much your signing bonus is. Success at this level is determined by how well you play the game. I'm not talking about raw talent either, its about respecting the game of baseball and playing it the right way. A person who knows how to play the right way will beat out someone with better raw skills any day. And you can see it almost across the board, especially with pitchers. Just look at the numbers and then look at the draft position, it's laughable. The whole tools bullshit that scouts look at has nothing to do with being a successful player. Sure, tools help but they aren't necessary or sufficient to making a good baseball player. What is necessary and sufficient is the knowledge of how to play the game and how to get better every day. And that is what I will try to do for the rest of my career.
Here are some links of articles about last night........
Pettis Shuts Down Auburn
Pettis Takes No-Hitter Into Seventh