Adjusting to different mounds

Okay, today we had our first game for my summer team. We were away, and i got called in to pitch. I have been pitching well lately, so i was confident, i threw a good bullpen to get warmed up so i was confident going out there. As soon as i stepped on the field mound, something was different, our starting pitcher said the mound was funny, as he was having some trouble finding the strike zone, i just thought it was him. The only way to describe what was happening was i felt like on some pitches i couldn’t throw the ball to the glove. And on some it was normal. This mound was taller and more sloped than most mounds i have played on, so i was just wondering, what are some ways to adjust. One problem i was having was i think i was staying back to long i guess, i don’t really know.

Sorry for the story, just thought it’d be easier to describe my situtation that way.

The mounds that you’ll find on public and school ball fields are a challenge to say the least. They’re not designed or constructed with quality in mind, nor are they cared for… usually … by workers that are skilled in the mounds refurbishment (repair).

All in all, this construction and care cost $$$. And if town fathers are gonig to spend money on ball fields or schools, police and fire… well ball fields are a hard sell.

Another problem is the fallacy of …" a steeper mound will produce a faster fastball."

Now you and your guys come along … assuming that some one has taken into consideration your turning and moving, stretching out your stride leg and landing repeatedly … and still maintaining some sort of balance.

WRONG!

Here’s some examples of typical pitcher mounds on many public and private ball fields:
It’s common to find a rounded dome with a pitcher’s rubber stuck onto a block of cement. It’s also common to find a composition of sand, dirt, dried clay, gravel and even small rocks.

As time goes by, you’ll find a series of holes and a slope that’s either depressed or raised between the pither’s and the spot where your stride foot lands. To compansate for this, an iron garden rake can be used between innings to reshape the mound for safe productive use. But this simple peice of equipment is rarely brought to the field… even by DI clubs. Check out my example below.

Also, if you don’t bring an iron rake and refurbish your mound in between innings … you’ll run into this kind of mound:

And if left unchecked… you’ll more than likely be pitching off of something like this:

My advice to you is:
DON’T TAKE FOR GRANTED THAT YOU HAVE TO PITCH OFF THIS JUNK. BRING AN IRON GARDEN RAKE AND MAKE THE SURFACE YOUR ABOUT TO PITCH OFF REASONABLE FOR YOUR SAFETY AND THE SAFETY OF THE BATTERS YOUR ABOUT TO PTICH TO. START THIS ISSUE EARLY IN YOUR BASEBALL SEASON WITH COACHES AND ADMINISTRATORS.

And here’s a littl bit of information for you… Once the home team gives their lineup to the umpire in chief … the umpire in cheif is responsible for declaring the field playable … and your YOUR SAFETY. Certified Board Umpires receive money for their services and as such their judgement should include the safety of the mounds that your pitching off of. This is one of the reasons why the carry insurance. A protective measure when being sued for lack of good judgement.

So, take more responsibility for your own well being and bring an iron garden rake with you to help condition your surface before every appearance.

Coach B.

I think i might just do that, but this mound was well taken care of…except the slope of the mound was uneven, if that makes sense. Our coach is strict on keeping the field in top shape, and usually other places are pretty well done too…its just i MIGHT run into this problem again. I guess here’s another question for you coach. In today’s situation, i felt like i couldn’t throw it to the glove, it would sink right before it got to the glove, and it seemed like with less speed. Which brings me to my next question, what are some things that could be causing this? I also had problems controlling throwing the ball high when i wanted to.

So i guess heres a sum of my questions:

  1. I was having problems with throwing the ball high when i wanted to.

  2. My ball looked like it was sinking abnormally, and it felt like i couldn’t through the catchers mitt, what are some causes of this?

I need to get better at explaining my problems, eh?

Let’s start with an easy one first.

It’s commmon for catchers that position themselves TOO FAR back in behind the plate to casue you to pitch short of the mit… o0r the target that you’re trying to hit. Take a look at the example below:

The catcher in our exampl SHOULD BE at postion A.
Instead, he’s at position B.
Which forces the umpire to be in position C. >>>> which by the way is a very poor location for Blue to be calling quality balls and strikes.

In this example above … an actual game by the way, the pitcher bounced his pitch in the dirt just before home plate… and the umpire almost called a strike.

So, start off by checking where your catcher is positioning himself in relatin to the BATTER, first.

If that’s not the problem, then post some video of yourself and let’s take it from there.

Caoch B.

I have trouble on really tall mounds too. It causes me to open up early from the steep slope and puts stress on my arm and I lose about 10 mph on my fastball. It’s more because I don’t get good leverage and I’m more of a high-sidearm kinda guy. Gimme a flatter mound and I dominate though.