How Chris Archer, complete with a 5-plus ERA, is setting an example everybody can follow
COMPTON, Calif. — A five ERA will bring you to places, man. A five ERA kicks and spits and leaves jagged marks in places you didn’t even know existed. A five ERA finds you laying rage on top of helplessness on top of hesitation, finds you throwing straight through your shoulder while giving chase to shadows, finds you in that place and looking for footprints that match your shoe size, wondering how you got there.
Chris Archer is working on that.
He’d tied back his dreadlocks with a headband. He wore a gray Pittsburgh Pirates jersey, No. 24. Someone handed him a microphone.
St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jack Flaherty, he’s become a regular at Live Athletics, a facility run by Zach Ray, a doctor of physical therapy. Archer finished his worst season on the disabled list with a sore pitching shoulder. Also, and perhaps more daunting, he was on the disabled list at the end of his worst season, no way to fix it.’ data-reactid=”70″>He is in Southern California for the offseason, living a couple miles from the beach, trekking north to Westlake Village to heal — and better understand — his body. On the advice of St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jack Flaherty, he’s become a regular at Live Athletics, a facility run by Zach Ray, a doctor of physical therapy. Archer finished his worst season on the disabled list with a sore pitching shoulder. Also, and perhaps more daunting, he was on the disabled list at the end of his worst season, no way to fix it.
So, he wondered, where had this come from? What, exactly, had he been fighting since the trade to Pittsburgh? Across 33 starts, what amounts to a full season, he was 6-12 with a 4.92 ERA. What was he trying to prove? And to whom?
“Dealing with the past season,” he said, “I had to re-evaluate all of that. I had to look inward.”
His shoulder healed. He is throwing again, easy. His head is clearer. The disaster that was 2019, the places a five ERA took him, those could not be misspent.
“I already know that I’m great,” he said. “Now it’s getting back to being comfortable being me and doing what I do. I don’t feel like I have to prove myself to anybody. I’m more comfortable in my skin than I’ve ever been.”
He stood Saturday morning in the middle of it all, all of them, all of him, beneath rain clouds to which he was indifferent.
“I just feel free,” he said. “I feel I’m closer to them” — he waved his arms at the blur of small, teetering, untethered humans — “and I am my old essence. I feel that free and unjudged and comfortable. I know what that feels like now.”
Then he excused himself. All the five-ERAers were going to have a dance contest. He couldn’t miss that.
Source : Yahoo Sports Link