By David Lauterbach/PA Announcer
Video games often require one skill that is important in baseball: hand eye coordination.
Derek Holland, a major league pitcher for the Texas Rangers, has said that he loves to play hockey video games on his Xbox to prepare for a start. 26 miles east of where Holland plays his home games for the Rangers, a Commodores pitcher started a similar tradition.
“I like to play Halo 4 right before every start,” said Trey Teakell. “I’ve played video games before, but I never really played Halo before. But on days I start, I’ll wake up in the morning and play Halo 4 for some reason. That’s the only time I play it.”
According to Teakell, there has only been one time this summer that he didn’t play Halo before he started. That was on June 19 when Teakell gave up five runs, three earned, on seven hits against the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox. It was his only loss of the regular season.
The next time out, Teakell threw seven innings against Orleans and gave up no runs on six hits.
“It’s superstition,” Teakell said. “I guess the first time I played it was probably last year. I played it one day before one of my starts and ever since then I’ve been doing really well.”
Last season at Texas Christian University, when Teakell was a sophomore, he had one of the best years of his career. The righty was 3-0 with a 0.82 ERA. In 33 innings, he gave up just three earned runs.
That success has traveled with Teakell to the Cape. During the regular season, Teakell went 5-1 with a 2.85 ERA in eight starts.
While Teakell has loved his recent success, there is one start from high school he wishes he could go back to.
“I was one out away from a perfect game in my senior year of high school,” Teakell said. “The second start of the season I faced twenty batters and got twenty up twenty down. The next guy got an 0-2 hit into center field.”
Looking back, Teakell said he knows it was just bad luck. But if he had the ability to go back and change what happened, he might do something other than play Halo before the game.
Teakell said he loves watching current Braves pitcher Tim Hudson pitch. More specifically, he loves Hudson’s splitter. That pitch is something Teakell wishes he had his senior year of high school.
“I threw an 0-2 slider. It would have bounced in the dirt if he didn’t hit it,” Teakell said. “I wish I could go back to that at-bat a lot and just throw something different. I wish I would’ve had a splitter to throw right there.”
During his sophomore year, Teakell finally added a splitter to his pitching arsenal. Since then, he’s dominated hitters in college and on the Cape.
But Teakell’s recent success might not just be a result of his new pitch, it also might be because he makes sure to play Halo 4 a couple hours before he throws a splitter.