August 15, 2008
It is really hard to share my thoughts right now due to the way we are playing. We are already 1-2 and do not have any gimmes the rest of the way. We played a decent game against Korea but it felt like we were trying to feel things out instead of just playing like I know we can. In that game, I feel like we learned a lot about our team and we showed some strengths and weaknesses. On the pitching side, we really didn’t start off well but late in the game we had some clutch performances by our relievers. We came in and kept the game close to give ourselves a chance. I came in, I don’t remember what inning, and I faced three lefties. I struck the first guy out, the next guy grounded out and then I struck out the last guy. Then I came in the top of the next inning and got the first lefty to ground out before they replaced me.
Offensively, we seemed to struggle early. Korea had a guy that threw a lot of breaking stuff and he kept us off-guard. We finally got to their starter and relievers enough late to take the lead in the top of the ninth. However, in the bottom half, we kind of threw the game away but that stuff happens. We showed that we can make pitches when we needed to, get clutch hits when we need them, we don’t give up, and we have a really good line-up. Also, in the top of the 9th Mike Hessman hit probably the farthest home run I have ever seen. We lost it in the darkness. It was huge.
THe next game we played the Netherlands and we dominated from the get go. Strasburg absolutely dealt against them. He had a no-hitter through seven or six (I can’t remember). We won 7-0 and had the ninth inning rained out. We started at 10:30 that morning and didn’t get out of there until almost 6pm. It was a long day and even though we won, a lot of us were unhappy and hungry. That night I went to the silk factory to get fitted for some suits I had made. They are pretty sharp and they did a great job at making them so I bought another one. Other than that, we didn’t have much time to do anything else since we were at the field all day and had another early game.
Today we played Cuba. We knew they were good, but going in I felt like we would handle them well. We didn’t. Our starter, Cahill, looked real shaky in the first but really shut them down the rest of the way. Our offense seemed to be slow getting to their starter but we ended up tying it at 2-2. Then, Jeremy Cummings came in and did a great job at shutting them down. He did give up a homer in the 7th though and Cuba went up by one. However, since this game is like a roller-coaster ride, we hit a home run in the bottom of that inning to tie it. In the bottom of the tenth I think I saw one of the most clutch pitching performances of my life. Jepsen came out, in his second inning of work, and gives up a lead-off triple that tipped off our center fielder’s glove. But, then struck out the next two and gets a ground out and they ended up not scoring. It was awesome. I knew from there we were going to win. Instead, we play into the eleventh where we had to do a ridiculous tie breaker thing where each team can choose what part of the line-up they want to start with. Then, you put a runner at first and second. We lost by one.
I know in order to be a good team you have to be able to win one-run ball games and we just aren’t doing it yet. But, we aren’t out of it yet and we are going to keep fighting. If we can win all of our next games we are in the semi’s and will play for a medal. If we don’t, then we will need a miracle. So, tonight I am going to just take it easy because we have Canada next and they are heavy with lefties in their line-up. I will more than likely be called upon out of the pen. Then again, I hope we don’t need me because we are up that far.