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Mission Accomplished

Pitchers put service first, find success in majors

Published: Wednesday, May 14 2008 11:55 p.m. MDT

     

\"I wasn't banging up my arm for two years,\" said the now

28-year-old right-hander who struck out 62 batters in 67 innings while

walking just 21 last year. \"I had time to rest.\"

     

Guthrie didn't exactly rest while at Stanford, where he set a

school record by throwing 157.2 innings as a junior. An all-American,

Guthrie was drafted in the third round by the Pirates in 2001, but he

elected to remain with the Cardinal for one more season. The following

year, he was a first-round draft pick by the Indians.

     

Guthrie's breakthrough didn't come until last season, when he was

waived by Cleveland and claimed by Baltimore. After cracking the major

league roster as a reliever, Guthrie eventually became a starter and

put together a stellar rookie season, throwing 175.1 innings with a

3.70 ERA and a strikeout rate of 6.31 per nine innings.

     

\"It was a blessing that I never would have expected,\" said the

now 29-year-old right-hander about last season. \"It went better than I

ever could have hoped for.\"

     

Like Lindstrom, Guthrie found that his mission experience served

to improve his baseball performance. It's all a matter of keeping his

life in the proper perspective.

     

\"It allows me to approach baseball in a way that is, for me, more

conducive to my success,\" he said. \"It keeps everything in focus, which

allows me to enjoy baseball.

     

\"The conviction that I have and my testimony is an anchor I will always have.\"

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