Brunnig Checks Out, Appears Ready to Pitch

Baseball Notebook

After missing his second straight turn in the rotation this past weekend, freshman pitcher Matt Brunnig will get checked out by his own doctor this afternoon to get a second opinion on his sore right arm. But barring anything unforeseen, he expects to be ready to pitch next weekend.

Brunnig said he is finally starting to get better and today’s doctor’s visit will just be a precautionary step. His arm first started hurting after taking batting practice over spring break in hopes of playing every day.

“I was taking some cuts, trying to get my swing back, and I guess tried too fast,” said Brunnig, who said he’ll stick to just pitching from now on.

The exact diagnosis of Brunnig’s injury has been somewhat baffling.

“According to the [team] trainer, it’s a strained muscle,” Brunnig said. Yesterday, Walsh expressed confusion over the ambidextrous pitcher’s status.

“It’s a mystery,” Walsh said. “He’s going to see his own doctor [today]. I don’t know about that. I like our guys seeing the team doctors.”

Self Gets Cleared

He may have been smiling when it happened, but the beaning senior Matt Self sustained Sunday when senior catcher Brian Lentz’s throw accidentally hit him was fairly serious. After a medical examination, Self learned he suffered a mild concussion.

Fortunately, the team doctor has cleared him to play and he should be available to pitch this weekend if needed.

Self revealed yesterday that his peripheral vision was blurry for about 15-20 minutes after getting struck Sunday. Self also said he has still been having trouble remembering exactly what happened in the second inning.

Mann, oh, Mann

Walsh was disappointed that his team struggled to even make contact off Princeton’s Thomas Pauly, given that it’s no secret Pauly relies on his fastball and it’s just a matter of catching up to it.

But he did excuse sophomore catcher Schuyler Mann’s three-pitch, inning-ending strikeout with the bases loaded in the seventh. Usually one of the team’s best fastball hitters, Mann has been nursing a sore hand and it has affected his swing. He went just 1-for-13 this weekend with seven strikeouts. Walsh said he’ll continue to stick with Mann, even at less than full health, because he has few alternative options to hit in the middle of the order. …

Yesterday’s opener was just the third game all season that junior Bryan Hale hasn’t started in centerfield. His benching was part of Walsh’s wholesale shakeup intended to extract some offense out of Harvard’s slumping lineup.

“We’ve got guys under the Mendoza line hitting with aluminum bats,” Walsh said.

Hale is the biggest such culprit. Batting just .143 on the season, he’s gone 2 for his last 17. Oddly, both those hits were homers.