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Tuesday, October 26, 2021


On Tuesday afternoon, Matzek, a key member of the Atlanta Braves’ bullpen, will head to Minute Maid Park for Game 1 of the World Series a happier man and an improved pitcher. What changed him was acceptance of the fear he had always strived to suppress.

“It’s taking that fear and keeping it there,” he said. “Instead of letting it hold me back, I’m using it as fuel for an aggressive mindset. When I go out there, that fear that my body is feeling is telling me that this is exciting for a reason. Let’s not be afraid of it. Let’s attack it. When you start learning to harness that fear instead of being afraid of it, it fuels you.”

It has fueled Matzek, and he has fueled the Braves. Without him, it’s unlikely they would have won the NLCS in six games, if at all. If they are to win the World Series, it will be in significant part because of a 31-year-old reliever who, two years ago, lived out of a trailer 250 miles from here while pitching in front of a few handfuls of fans.

“To say he hit rock bottom would be an understatement,” said John McLaren, a former major-league manager who managed Matzek in Independent ball. “He went through hell, and he survived, and he’s back on the top of the mountain.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 26, 2021 at 02:06 PM | 2 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: tyler matzek, yips

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   1. salvomania Posted: October 26, 2021 at 04:06 PM (#6049177)
Don't jinx him!
   2. Howie Menckel Posted: October 26, 2021 at 07:44 PM (#6049217)
John McLaren, a former major-league manager


managed the second half for Mariners in 2007 and first half for Mariners in 2008, and went 68-88

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