Tuesday's start against the host Pittsburgh Pirates has been a long time coming for Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Josh Lindblom.
The Brewers won the series opener 6-5 in 11 innings on Monday.
Lindblom is 0-3 with a 5.97 ERA in six career major league starts. His most recent start, April 2, 2014, for the Oakland A's, was in the nightcap of a doubleheader against Cleveland. He gave up two runs in 4 2/3 innings.
It's the interim that is important for Lindblom going into his Brewers debut.
Aside from making four relief appearances for the Pirates in May 2017, Lindblom spent most of the past five seasons in the Korea Baseball Organization. That's where he honed his craft, going 63-34 with a 3.55 ERA in 130 starts.
Over the past two seasons, he was 35-7 with a 2.68 ERA in 56 starts and won the KBO's equivalent of the Cy Young Award. In 2019, he also was the KBO's Most Valuable Player, going 20-3 with a 2.50 ERA in 30 starts for the Doosan Bears.
Lindblom developed three keys to any personal success.
"One of them has to be a constant, and the other two you've got to do the majority of the time to be successful," Lindblom said. "And these are individual to everybody, but for me, my first is compete. And compete just simply means to go out and give our team a chance to win. It means to lock in mentally, focus on each and every pitch and let the result be what it may.
"The second is command my fastball. If I go out there and can command my fastball, then I'm going to have a pretty good day. And the third is if I can throw five pitches for a strike. So, on any given day, if I'm doing two of those, it's going to be a pretty good day. If I'm doing all three, it can be a special day. But no matter what, I can always go out and give my team a chance to win."
Lindblom, who has pitched one scoreless inning of relief against the Pirates in his career, will start opposite Pittsburgh left-hander Derek Holland on Tuesday.
Holland split 2019 between the San Francisco Giants and the Chicago Cubs, producing an 8.10 ERA in eight starts but a 4.53 ERA in 43 relief outings. He signed a minor league contract with the Pirates in January.
Despite the fact that Pittsburgh is coming off a 93-loss season, Holland is bully on the Bucs.
"I want to try and help these guys out because, no matter what it says on paper or what people say about this team, we have such a strong group of guys with a great -- I'm not kidding -- mentality of wanting to win every single day when we set foot on this field, whether it's practice, games or anything. They show it every single time," Holland said.
"And it gets overlooked. That's one of the things that I'm very excited about, this decision of coming here and being a part of this staff, because you can see it every single day when you set foot on the field with these guys. There's just something to it that it has a different feel. It's a very, very good feel."
Holland made interesting news Sunday. Even getting a chance to get into a game with his new team, he got ejected from Pittsburgh's game at St. Louis after saying something to or about the umpires while sitting in the socially distanced seats in the stands.
Against the Brewers, Holland is 1-0 with a 1.74 ERA in 11 career appearances, two of them starts.
--Field Level Media