Andrew Brackman will start Game 5, if necessary
Last night’s washout — the first at home all season — means Brackman would be called upon to pitch a potential fifth game, which would be played on Sunday at 1:05 at Waterfront Park.
After he pitched five innings in relief of Andy Pettitte on Tuesday, the team told Brackman he could go ahead and shut it down for the rest of year, with a few days of charting as his only remaining work.
Yesterday, however, with the weather forecast looking gloomy, those plans changed abruptly.
“I was told the day after I pitched ‘Shut it down, you’re done,’” he recalled. “Then I was told to show up here at 7:00 (p.m.) to go in the stands and chart. I got a phone call at 3:00 that said to come up here and throw a bullpen just in case they need me in Game 5.”
He looked strong on Tuesday, and has been that for last month or so. In fact, since Aug. 11, Brackman’s ERA of 0.82 is tied for tops in the league.
Who, you ask, has been his equal in that span? Why it’s Altoona’s Rudy Owens, who it just so happens was approved late last night to oppose Brackman should the series go to Game 5.
Knowing the circumstance, it would be fair for one to assume that the deciding game of a championship series would be the biggest pressure point of the big man’s career to date.
Brackman points to Game 1 of the 2005 Atlantic Coast Conference, when he struck out five in seven innings against the Miami Hurricanes. This, of course, came just two months after he joined the baseball team.
Of course, Brackman also had some fairly big moments on the basketball court, where he spent a good portion of his college athletic career.
“Oh yeah, the Sweet 16 was probably the biggest,” he said. “I played in front of more people and everything.”
He didn’t perform terribly well against that night, when his N.C. State Wolfpack faced the Wisconsin Badgers. That aside, he still has the utmost confidence in himself should the Thunder need him with a championship on the line.
“I want to be there for Game 5,” he said, before reminding reporters that, no matter how it shakes down, a title is the ultimate goal. “Hopefully my teammates can come through and we can win a championship.”