Kentucky baseball is off to an 11-1 start. The Wildcats are No. 6 in the nation after a clean sweep through the Shriners College Classic. Simply put, they are red hot.
For reliever Chris Machamer, perhaps the better term is Icy Hot.
A few weeks back, Kentucky baseball tweeted out that Machamer's teammates somtimes have fun with his odd pre and postgame preparation.
#WildcatWednesday #33 Chris Machamer (@machamer_chris) So., RHP, North Canton, OH— Kentucky Baseball (@UKBaseball) February 21, 2018
Did You Know: Teammates have a little fun with him over all the pitching gadgets he owns. #WeAreUK pic.twitter.com/tL0AUPvjkv
Inquiring minds wanted to know, so NCAA.com reached out to find out some more. Just what made Machamer stand out? According to Matt May, Kentucky's SID, "I don’t even know what to call most of it and he puts like an obscene amount of icy hot stuff on before he throws, too."
Machamer is the 6-2, sophomore right-hander part of Kentucky's bullpen. Growing up in Ohio, he is a long-time Indians fan, with Major League being his favorite baseball movie. Watching Pedro Cerrano as a youth, perhaps it's not so weird that Machamer has his share of rituals. After Kentucky defeated Louisiana in its final game in Houston, Tx. for the Shriner's Classic, we caught up with Machamer to find out just how he gets ready.
NCAA.com: What's this we hear about an obscene amount of Icy Hot?
Chris Machamer: It’s not a lot of ice, but I have a lot of different creams that makes my arm burn. I put about five different creams on. Tiger Balm, Aspercreme, my favorite is a white flower one I use that I get in from China. It has Chinese letters on it, and it makes my arm burn. It keeps me loose, so I’ll put it on before the game.
NCAA: Is this a new fad, or has it always been you're way of preparing?
CM: Nope, I’ve done that since about freshman year of high school.
NCAA: And gadgets? What exactly are baseball gadgets?
CM: I got a lot of recovery gadgets. I have a bunch of different things. A vibrating foam roller, a vibrating recovery ball, I have these heat and vibration sleeves that I use before and after the game. I have this thing that’s kind of like a jigsaw to warm up the muscles and keep them loose during the game.
NCAA: All that since high school as well?
CM: No, I started all of that this offseason. It helps bouncing back quicker, and be able to throw everyday. I feel great everyday, I keep building up arm strength.
NCAA: What about pregame rituals, anything weird we should know about?
CM: I’m big into Monsters. I usually have two before a game, and maybe one more before I go into pitch.
NCAA: What do you listen to before the game? Do you try to relax after all that Monster?
CM: I like country. I like Luke Bryan, Brett Eldredge. I like to mellow out. I’m always pumped up anyway. People think I listen to [metal] but I’m like, no I listen to country.
Whatever he does seems to be working. Machamer is pretty dangerous out of the bullpen. He opened the season tossing two innings and striking out three. His latest performance against Louisiana was a three-up, three-down inning, striking out the side.
FINAL | @UKBaseball finished off @RaginCajunsBSB in impressive fashion, 10-4. RHP Chris Machamer was 93-94 with his FB in the 9th, along with a quality CH.— Kendall Rogers (@KendallRogers) March 4, 2018
How about this? #BatCats outscored opponents 31-8 in Houston this weekend. They’re the real deal as expected.
CM: Oh yeah, I love it. I love being able to come in when the game is close. I really don’t have to pace myself as a starter does. I just come in and attack hitters, throwing as hard as I can.
Kentucky and Machamer look to keep hot. This weekend, the Wildcats play another scorching hot team in Texas Tech. Go ahead and get those creams going now, Chris.