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Nick Kingham focusing only on what he can control

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It took Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Nick Kingham the better part of eight seasons to reach Pittsburgh and the Major Leagues thanks in no large part due to things beyond his control.

Monday, Kingham threw in Altoona again, the first he’s done so since 2016 after his two-game stint for the Pittsburgh Pirates in which he notched two wins. Following those two games, Kingham was reassigned to Indianapolis for a start before his return to Altoona.

While the so-called demotion was not a reflection on Kingham’s performance, it was, however, merely a logistical move. The Pirates are without the need for a fifth starter until Saturday, moving Kingham to Indianapolis and Altoona has kept him on track to be that fifth starter once the time comes.

“You’re never as high as you think you are, you’re never as low,” a poignant Kingham said following his outing in Altoona Monday where he threw five innings and gave up four earned runs.

The journey following his stint with the Pittsburgh Pirates has been quite an adventure even with it just being something done for logistical measures. No matter where Kingham pitches next, whether it be in Altoona, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh or Timbucktoo, he will pitch just like he tries to do night in and night out, like a Major Leaguer.

“Baseball is a humbling sport, it can take you anywhere,” Kingham said. “I’m just called on to pitch and I’m gonna pitch, whatever they tell me to do. If it’s here, if it’s in the GCL at the time being, they call on me to pitch, I’m gonna have to show up and throw. It doesn’t matter where it’s at really.”

Controlling the Controllable

For anybody other than Kingham, the whirlwind of events following his two games with the Pirates could be annoying and infuriating, however, it’s far from in Kingham’s control and that’s okay with him.

“It is what it is, as long as I’m still playing and they said it was just time to go down, no specific reason other than we just had a bunch of off days so there were no days for me to pitch,” Kingham said. “I understand, I can pitch like a big leaguer any where I pitch, so it’s up to me. I’m just playing against myself really, going out there and competing with myself no matter who’s in the box.”

It would be easy for Kingham to succumb to the rigors of not knowing where he’s going to be or how long he’s going to be there, but for him, it’s just being able to control what he can.

“Nothing I can do to change it, I cant control it,” Kingham said. “If I complain and i get worked up about it, it does me no good. So I just take it as it is, I wake up every morning and go wherever they tell me to go.”

A surreal debut

Kingham’s debut was history in the making as he had the best Major League debut in 20 years. He took a perfect game into the seventh inning before allowing a hit. The long time Minor League pitcher, retired the first 20 hitters of the game and finished the game

“I didn’t even dream it was going to be that good,” Kingham said. “I feel like it was just surreal. I went out there, everytime I was just in a zone making my pitches, quality pitches, my command was awesome. I had everything working for me that day.”

Kingham defeated the Milwaukee Brewers in his second start and while the outing was not nearly as dominant, he went 5 and 1/3 innings giving up 6 hits and 4 earn runs as well as two home runs, it was still a quality outing from a pitcher making only his second Major League start.

There will be many more opportunities for Kingham in the future, whether that’s Saturday in Pittsburgh is to be determined, but his performance has at least warranted another opportunity to pitch for the Pirates. Until then, Kingham is focused solely on himself and controlling things that are within his realm of power.

 

Jarrod Prugar has rebounded from being the first person ever thrown out of a Three Rivers Classic to cover the Rose Bowl, Fiesta Bowl and the 2017 Eastern League Championship. A 2013 graduate of Robert Morris University, Jarrod currently resides in Altoona where he works as a Recreation professional. He also coaches baseball and football at the middle school level. Along with his Altoona Curve coverage, Jarrod's work can be found at Pittsburgh Sports Report where he covers Penn State athletics. Jarrod also co-hosts Clear the Deck on Locked On Pirates.

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Pittsburgh Pirates fans – Subscribe, Rate, Review!

Locked on Pirates is the semi-daily Pittsburgh Pirates podcast of choice for discerning Pirates fans.

Jason Rollison from Bucs Dugout and others will help you through the 2018 Pittsburgh Pirates season.

You can help chart the podcast’s success by subscribing to our podcast and writing a review!

We are on every podcast app that ties into iTunes, so search for us! Or, if you’re on an Android or iOS device, please just click the links below to subscribe, and while there, why not leave a review?

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Pittsburgh Pirates fans – Subscribe, Rate, Review!

Locked on Pirates is the semi-daily Pittsburgh Pirates podcast of choice for discerning Pirates fans.

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