Who saw this coming?

Posted by Steve

I’m talking about Seth McClung, and if you said you did, I probably wouldn’t believe you.  Another impressive outing from McClung today.  Check out some of these numbers.  3.94 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 38 Ks, 20 BBs.  His sudden ability to throw strikes is pretty incredible.  38/20 isn’t anything great, but since he’s been a starter he’s only walked seven guys in 21.2 innings.  He has amazingly walked one batter in his last 18 innings.  For a guy who has averaged 5.3 walks/nine innings over his career, this has been a bizarre turnaround.

This is taken with a decent-sized grain of salt, as he’s only made five starts.  Even if he crashes and burns the rest of the season, though, he’s already done more to help the team than I expected this season.  And if Melvin/Yost/Maddux somehow stumbled onto a serviceable starter, it would be a godsend to the Brewers.

If nothing else, it’s already a cool story.  McClung seems genuinely thrilled to be a big leaguer.  I like watching dudes who just throw extremely hard, so that’s fun as well.  This seems a lot like Turnbow in the sense that both threw extremely hard, but both experienced success when they cleaned up their motion and took just a bit off their fastball for added control.  Also, he’s only 27, so if he somehow gets decent, that’s pretty encouraging.

Needless to say, I’m definitely intrigued by Seth McClung at this point.

—————

In other news, I’m a jackass.  At the game today, I attempted to seize my moment of glory, only to fail miserably.  You may remember this post from last year in which I described my only chance to catch a foul ball.  Until that point, I didn’t think I really cared about catching a foul ball.  Ever since that kid snatched that one away from me, though, my outlook seems to have changed.  Since I always figured I’d never get one hit at me in the first place, I wasn’t too worried about it.  But once I had one hit at me and it was stolen away, everything was different.

Apparently that was on my mind today.  In about the fifth or sixth inning, Brendan Harris hit a high pop-up into the stands.  It was surprisingly high, and as it slowly came down I realized it was coming very close to me.  This was my moment of glory, my chance to atone for last year’s gaffe in Pittsburgh.

Because I had that thought in my head, I did not realize in time that it wasn’t going to end up as close to me as I orignally thought.  I ended up leaning over like three people to make a lunge for it.  The ball landed directly on the middle finger of my right hand and bounced away, leaving me with no baseball and a badly sprained finger.

In the seconds after, I wasn’t sure what felt worse:  the overwhelming embarrassment for injuring myself at a baseball game (while sober, nonetheless), the incredible pain in my finger, the guilt for knocking the ball away from the guy who would have caught it or the shame for being a frickin’ hypocrite.

My brother was quick to point out that I had a slim chance to get the ball and that I probably had no business going for it, and he was right on both counts.  I ridiculed that kid for ruining my good chance at a foul ball, yet I did the same sorry thing myself a year later.  I guess I no longer blame him, because he obviously realized something I didn’t:  If you get somewhat close to a foul ball at a game, you’re going for it, whether you have the best chance for it or not.

So the moral of the story:  Instead of a foul ball, I sit here typing through pain in my swollen middle finger.  I should have fun at softball tomorrow trying to get a glove on this hand.  Yep, I’m a moron.

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