Baseclogging: Got Heem!

In Jeremy Barfield's latest blog entry, he discusses the first-half pennant race, Sean Doolittle's rise to the majors and a new first in Barfield's career.

This has been an interesting past few weeks. We've been battling the injury bug and our offense has been a little sluggish at times, but we've been able to deliver those clutch hits and stay right behind Frisco in the standings. They just keep winning and we've only gained one game on them this past week. We need to take care of business the rest of this series in Corpus Christi before we set our sights on Frisco in their home park.

We're off to a great start so far with a win last night [Wednesday]. Shawn Haviland pitched phenomenal and our bullpen kept us right in the game. Dusty Coleman hit an opposite field grand slam that gave us the lead for good. That is no easy feat here in Corpus Christi. Fly balls to right field rarely even get to the warning track due to the wind here and he hit a bomb to right center. That's some serious pop! I haven't seen an opposite field home run like that since Dusty hit one about 450 feet in Dayton, Ohio in 2009 when we played for Kane County.

We also got to witness the phenomenon that is Sean Doolittle. There's just not much else to say besides he's darn near unhittable. It was truly amazing to watch. Opposing hitters barely even touched him. I can't even remember many foul tips. I'm so happy he got the call. It couldn't happen to a better guy. He deserves it. After all he's been through with the injuries he finally realized his childhood dream of playing Major League Baseball and his debut was one for the ages. I can't I'm surprised though, his stuff and his control is off the charts.

Last week I completed a first for my baseball career. Never in my life had I hit a walkoff home run. Even that ridiculous bat flip video from high school (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AldDtJfbqf4) wasn't a walkoff. I've only hit go-ahead homers on the road or game-tying homers at home in the last inning. Even the game tying two-out grand slam I hit in Vancouver in 2008 left me feeling a little empty, especially since we ended up losing that game in extras.

I finally added ‘walkoff home run hitter' to my baseball resume last week. It was a back and forth game against Northwest Arkansas the entire night. The funny thing is before the game my teammate A.J. Huttenlocker told me he was going to go see Men In Black 3 at 10:30pm after the game. (We get free movies in Midland.) I had seen it the day before so I told him it's a must see. So the top of the 11th I'm standing in right field and turn around to peek at the scoreboard and see the time is 10:05pm. I look to the bullpen right behind me since I was in no-doubles and playing way deeper and ask A.J. if he's getting nervous. He said "Yeah dude, you're leading off right? End this [stuff]" I nodded.

We got three quick outs and I ran back to the dugout so fast you'd swear I had to pee. I had unfinished business with the pitcher I was about to face. He struck me out on three straight fastballs the week before in Northwest Arkansas, so I was in his book. It was time to put him in mine. My hitting coach told me that his fastball was ‘sneaky fast' but I told my hitting coach my hands are ‘sneaky fast' too. I took an absolute gangster hack the first pitch and missed it by about three feet and almost fell down. I heard the catcher laughing so I knew it must have been a pretty violent swing. I took ball one outside. Next pitch he tried to sneak a fastball inside and it wasn't very sneaky. Got heeeeem! Let's go home.

If all goes to plan then my next entry will be around the Texas League All-Star Game. Hopefully I'm in it and will be able to give you an All-Star caliber entry. If not, then I look like a complete moron for adding this last paragraph. Time will tell.

Follow Jeremy on Twitter (@Baseclogger).

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