Monday, October 27, 2008

Have we hit a wall?

We are now approaching 10 consecutive months of weekly baseball. For anyone, much less a 10 year old, this is daunting. Rabbit is unique in his ability to focus and commit to a task. That said, he is still 10 and every once in a while acts his age.

This weekend we had a double header on Sunday. Saturday was a day of sloth around the house and then a great time with friends at the Chivas USA game. We got home after 10PM and went straight to bed. Woke up by 8 to be ready to go at 9. The Rabbit was tired. Seriously tired. He was coming off a mild cold and some major school work, so it was not entirely unexpected. I just had a feeling as we left that it was going to be a long day.

Game 1 was OK. He went 0-2 with 2 strikeouts without ever so much as making contact. He played his usual sparkling defense at first, but twice there was a major lack of communication that left a circle of three players staring at the ball with no one covering the bag to get an easy out. We had a quick break for lunch and I gave serious consideration to heading home and getting him a nap. But, since he was scheduled to pitch game 2 it was not really an option.

Game 2 he came in to relieve in the 4th inning with a 3 run lead. 2 errors behind him led to 2 unearned runs. He walked on 4 pitches his first AB, then 6 pitches his second AB. On the plus side, he did foul a ball off, his only contact of the day. In the 5th he stopped using his legs when he pitched. Because of this he was almost always behind in the count, leaving the ball up, and struggling with control. It is certainly degrees, and his "bad day" yesterday was eons better than a "bad day" 5 months ago, but he was struggling. More errors, wild pitches and a full count walk (a mortal sin if ever there was one) and he finished the fifth down 4 runs. He got the third out on a great pickoff move. He has been working hard on that and it was fun to see it pay off.

On the plus side, when he remembered to use his legs, bend his back, and throw like he meant it he could find strikes. It does seem silly to talk about the mental approach to the game with a 10 year old who watches Sponge Bob as much as he watches MLB. However, he seems to get it. I am wondering if he would do better with less baseball for a few weeks. But he wants to play every day. He wants to go to the park and work on flies, pickoffs and pitching. Maybe he needs a hobby to keep him away from his hobby. And maybe, no, this is a certainty, I am over thinking it. He is a kid, having fun. Isn't that enough?

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