THE TRANSITION

The past several weeks have been all about making the transition from Detroit to St. Louis. Brooke did an unbelievable job getting our things to St. Louis. She made it easy for me to keep my mind on baseball while she took care of everything. In the meantime, I have been getting to know my new teammates.

There is a great group of guys here and I have enjoyed spending time with them and getting to know everyone. Although I still have to do some exploring of the city to really know what it is all about, I am impressed by the fans here already.

Coming from Detroit, probably one of the best sports towns in America, I didn’t know what to expect as far as crowds and fan support. Detroiters and Michiganders have so many winning traditions to choose from like Michigan football, MSU Basketball, Red Wings, the Pistons and after more than a decade of waiting, now the Tigers.

But here, St Louis is all about the Cardinals and I think it is awesome. It is overwhelming to see the stadium in a sea of red and to have the die hard support of these fans. I have been with the Cards now for a month, but have only spent a week in St. Louis.

Seeing all the fans on the road coming out to support us is great, when we hear the crowd erupt in cheering in the other team’s ballpark it is awesome for us and probably a little embarrassing for the other team!

We went home for the all-star break and spent some time relaxing. Although the three days go by quick, it is refreshing to get away from the game for that time and spend time with Brooke and the boys.

The first day was spent at Disney splitting time between Typhoon Lagoon (water park) and the Magic Kingdom. In the off-season we make trips to Disney routinely. So we figured we would take a day and catch up with Mickey and the gang.

Nolan and Tate had a great time like always. The second day Brooke and I got some alone time. We took full advantage of this time knowing that this kind of time together was going to be scarce for the rest of the season.

And the last day was time just to be at home. Our pool was used daily because of the hot weather that Florida gets in the summertime. That evening I flew back to St. Louis to get ready for the second half.

So far my pitching in the second half has been terrible to say the least. I have to be able to make adjustments in order to get back to pitching the way I’m capable of. It has been a frustrating couple of starts. I haven’t shown the Cards fans, coaches and my teammates the pitcher that I am.

I want to give them something to cheer for. I plan on turning things around in a hurry. My next start will be against the Brewers, and there’s no better time to get back on track than when we are facing a huge division series. I took time this weekend to reevaluate myself and establish some new goals to reach for the rest of the season.

I wrote them down and I will remind myself of them all the time. I have talked to a few veteran pitchers in the league and will use their experience to help me get back on track. This is a winning organization and I want to contribute to its tradition.

I have to be able to put the past behind me, attack each start and pitch smart. Since I am not an overpowering pitcher who can rely on speed alone, I have to constantly make adjustments in my game. I have clearly not done that well and it is time for change.

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