I am sitting in our clubhouse before the game tonight and figured I had some time on my hands to describe my pre-game routine. Because I am starting, I do not have to be at the field until batting practice starts at 4 pm (other pitchers report at 2:30 pm). The starting pitcher is the first to take batting practice. Being in an organization in the National League, the Reds want their pitchers to have the basic skills of handling a bat down. I lay down about 5 bunts, 3 slash bunts, and finish by taking about 7-10 swings.

From 4:15 until about 5:30 pm I really do not have much to do. I might get a light snack or review the opponents’ stat sheet, but just try and find something to pass the time. At 5:30 I will get my uniform on and head to the training room. I grab two heat pads, one for my shoulder and one for my back, just to begin the warm-up process. Some days I might do a light shoulder workout using small weights, again just to aid my warm-up.

The last thing I do before I head to the field is look over the opponents’ lineup and look for a few specific categories. The categories that give me a little insight into how to pitch certain batters is walks, strikeouts, average, RBIs, and stolen bases. My on-field warm-up begins around 30 minutes before game time.

Coming into today’s game, we have lost six straight and, on top of that, my last two starts have been sub-par. The good news is that we are still in second place and only back one game of West Michigan. Hopefully we win tonight and get back to our winning ways.

About The Author

Blame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, "The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds" is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad's musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine. You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

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10 Responses

  1. Chris W.

    Nice insight Matt.

    I would have thought you guys may practice bunting a little more than that. I know batting is not what pitchers are paid to do, but I would’ve though there would have been a little more emphasis on that from day to day.

  2. Chris W.

    Oh, and good luck tonight. I hope to have a good report on you in the morning!

  3. Matt W

    Good luck tonight; I am hoping for an end to the slide and it would be great if you were the one that delivers it

  4. Bill

    Matt, it’s raining again. My wife said they’re going to start calling you “Rain Man”. (4 of Matt’s 5 starts (or 5 of 6?) have been in bad weather.)

  5. Mike Martz

    Good luck Matt!
    Thanks again for taking time to give us a first hand account.

  6. Dave Massey

    Awesome post, Matt. I love to hear this behind the scenes stuff that we don’t hear about on TV or the mainstream sports media. Good luck to you on your start, sir! And please post again when you have time.

  7. DevilsAdvocate

    Wow – Matt, you should post something just before every start!

    (7 IP, 3 H, 6 K, 0 BB, 0 R)

  8. GregD

    Congrats on a great start Matt! Did the team hang on to win the game?

  9. Bill

    Check the two latest news story updates on Matt on his Spotlight Player page…turns out he is already known as “Rain Man” and even did a cameo on TV!