According to an online map search the distance from Oakland, California to Melbourne, Florida is 2,949 miles. It takes just under 42 hours to make that drive–just ask St. Louis Cardinals reliever Pat Neshek.
“It took about three days,” shared Neshek recently. He and his wife made the drive about this time last year after Pat was told by the Oakland A’s that he would not be part of their playoff roster.
“We got to October 1st and they said, We’re not probably going to use you these playoffs and we don’t really need you to stick around here,” recalled Neshek. “That kind of fired me up. I was driving back and watching my team play, all my teammates play, and it wasn’t fun.”
That memory continues to serve as motivation for Neshek, who after an All-Star regular season has helped the Cardinals advance to the National League Championship Series against San Francisco. He appeared in all four games of the NLDS against Los Angeles, with his only rough outing being in Game 2 where he allowed a home run and made a throwing error.
“Usually in baseball, the pitcher is going to win eight out of ten times,” explained Neshek on quickly moving past that outing. “So for me if I could do what I’ve got to do, hit my spots, I like my chances. And we play these guys so much you kind of get a game plan over the years, and you just stick to that. That’s what I do.”
“The entire season prepares you–we do this every day,” furthered Neshek. “We’ve been doing it for eight months now. The last month has been pretty nerve wracking and you’ve got to win games. It really prepares you. And I think that’s kind of ‑‑ for me that’s what I draw on.”
NLCS UMPIRES NAMED
–Major League Baseball has announced Gerry Davis, who has been part of 123 postseason games (the most in ML history) will serve as crew chief for the NLCS.
Mark Carlson, Phil Cuzzi, Paul Emmel, Greg Gibson, regular season crew chief Bill Miller and Bill Welke round out the crew. The NLCS Replay Officials will be Emmel (Games 1-2) and Cuzzi (Game 3 through end of NLCS).
photo credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports