Big Guy Car Guy

The Soul of a Middle Reliever

soul of a middle reliever

Maybe it’s the crisp October thrill of postseason baseball or the hope inherent in the dawn of a new hockey campaign, but I’m swimming in sports analogies these days. Here’s another.

Middle relievers are a fascinating lot. Few casual fans know their names and rarely does a signing or a trade involving one of these pitchers register in the A block of SportsCenter, but real baseball fans know that middle relief is often where, for better or for worse, a game is won or lost. Strong middle relief will hold on to a lead or, maybe, keep the game close, biding time for the offense to come alive before handing it over to the shut down closer, or middle relief will (quickly, usually) squander the efforts of the starting pitcher, providing him with a no decision and fans with fresh ulcers.

What’s interesting about these guys is that sometimes, middle relievers are called out of the bullpen to be turned into starters. While most relief pitchers were probably starting pitchers in high school and/or college, all have since had their throwing arm and routine conditioned for short bursts of frequent activity, the exact opposite of how a starting pitcher operates. Thus begins the process of ‘stretching them out’ to prepare their body (and mind too) for taking the ball in the 1st inning, and ideally not giving it back until the 6th or 7th.

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We’re kind of doing this same ‘stretching out’ thing with the Kia Soul EV right now, stretching her out to become something else for us, something different than she’s been to this point, something more akin to a starter than a reliever.

You may remember our first foray in the 100% battery powered Kia, a range-anxiety riddled journey to and from my parents house 43 miles away. Since that fateful drive, we’ve learned a lot about how to maximize the Soul EV’s battery performance through driving style, braking patterns, electronics usage and climate control, and have been slowly extending the predicted range capacity, making this smart little Kia much more than a middle reliever expected only to throw a few dozen pitches over the course of 2/3 or 1 1/3 innings, 4-5 days a week.

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105 mile range deserved 3 thumbs up!

Last Friday my girls and I ventured down into Philly in the Soul EV with a full battery and an expected range of a whopping 105 miles. That’s about 11 miles more than the max range we’d seen to this point so we felt totally at ease relying on nothing but a battery to get us into and out of the city on (almost) nothing but highways without a single range-anxiety ulcer, in style and in comfort (heated seats on the way there in the AM, air-conditioned backsides on the way back home in the late afternoon — such is the wonder of Autumn in this part of the world).

*The music in this time lapse video of us driving to Philly in the Kia Soul EV is by Chibi Kodama. This clip is from the song “Going Crazy” from their album “We’re Not Going Crazy (We’re Just Growing Up)”.

After our day in Philly, I dropped the girls off at home and stayed in the Soul EV to run a few errands, then plugged her into our regular 120V outdoor outlet overnight. The next day, Saturday, we drove to and from my parents without a sweat because we’ve successfully stretched out our Kia Soul EV to the point where we know we can send her out onto the mound to start the game and she’ll pitch long enough to get the decision.

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*OWTK is a Kia Ambassador. We currently have this Kia Soul EV on loan so that we can tell stories of how Kia’s electric vehicle fits into the everyday life of a suburban family. The opinions expressed above are honest and unbiased, as always.

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2 Comments

  1. I hope your car has a long career and continues to keep you in the game ala a long reliever.

  2. Well played, Larry! Thanks for reading and commenting.

joc