Avoiding the urge to pitch around hitters, etc

It seems like whenever i get to a situation with a good hitter at the plate, i will pitch around or bounce the ball into the plate. Even though i had thrown strikes to the previous hitters.

Obviously this isnt a good thing and im curious of ways to avoid thinking about the hitter or clear my mind.
Maybe some things that you guys have done in similar situations when you are in trouble.

Challenge the guy. Be confident in your stuff! Dont get nervous when a good hitter comes up. Feed off that adrenaline. Get that first strike and get ahead in the count. If you got him 0-2, 1-2 try and make him hit your pitch. Remember that the the pitche has the adavantage. You know what your throwing. The batter is up there guessing. What makes a good hitter good is being able to attack on your mistakes as a pitcher and making you pay. Make good pitches and youll alrite.

that does make sense and i guess im just not as confident in my FB this year because i really did lose a lil on the heater this year after a lazy offseason (i will admit it, i wont shy around it i was lazy and im trying to make it up with a good workout schedule and not being lazy this year.)

Challenge them and make them hit my pitch…sounds like something i probably forgot or just havent been thinking about :oops:

Its all good dont get down on yourself lol. Just keep at it. Try and slip in a first pitch breaking ball for a strike and mix in some offspeed to keep em off balance. You dont need a blazing fastball to get by. You just need to be a pitcher and not just a thrower. How many times have you heard that hitting is timing and the pitchers job is to upset the timing :wink:

All right, let’s take a look at the situation.
For example: it’s the top of the eighth inning. Your team is leading by one run. The opposition has runners on second and third, there is one out, and a particularly dangerous hitter is coming to bat—the kind of guy who will eat anything you throw at him for breakfast, lunch, dinner and between-meal snacks. Now the question arises—do you pitch to him, or do you give him the intentional pass to load the bases?
Here’s where we get into strategic pitching. The batter is 0-for-3, but he’s hit the ball hard every time—lined to short, lined to left, hard grounder to second. In other words, he’s due, perhaps overdue, for a solid base hit. Now consider what he’s been hitting. Consider how he positions himself at the plate—is he crowding the plate, hoping to get an outside pitch that he can drive to the opposite field? Consider his strength—and his weakness: one thing you DON’T want to start him off with is a fast ball, because odds are he’s looking for it. Give him a changeup, and unless he’s ready for that one he’ll be fooled by it. Now. Sometimes the best policy is to pitch around the guy, even if it means walking him—and now, with the bases loaded and one out, you can have your infield go to double-play depth, and then comes the hard part—getting him to hit one on the ground, right at one of the infielders.
The important thing to remember here is, keep the ball down in the zone. On the other hand, perhaps you have no choice but to pitch to him, because the guy in the on-deck circle is an even more dangerous hitter. So. What you do is go after the guy at bat. Challenge him Go for the strikeout—you can’t go wrong there. Then, at the least, you’ll have two out, and you can concentrate on the next hitter.
Above all—as I said once before, trust your stuff, go with your best pitches, keep the ball down—and change speeds. And you’ll get out of the inning unscathed. 8)

If your against a good hitter try to keep it low because its hard too hit it deep on a low pitch

Recently I have learned to do a few things.

What I do is not even look at the hitter. I look straight into the catcher. I get the sign, decide if I like it, stare into the mitt and fire.

I before the game I listen to alot of music and I’ll pick one line that I use the whole game to stay focused. For Example: today I pitched and on the bus ride to the game, I listened to Can’t Be Touched by Roy Jones Jr. The line I chosed today was “Can’t be rocked”. Every game I change it up. Pick one that you feel good about, think about it on the mound whenever you begin to lose focus or get that jelly feeling in your legs and fire the ball in there.

Depending on what pitches you have and how hard you throw, I wouldnt start this good hitter off with a fastball. I also wouldnt start him off with a Changeup unless it has good tailing or dropping movement and you get it to move off the plate. If you throw hard you may get away with a fastball down and possibly away. Anything off the plate is good to start. Its not the end of the world if you walk the guy but if he chases something or hits the ball weak somewhere im sure you would take it.

There really are many factors you have to consider but most importantly you have to know yourself, be confident, and trust your stuff!

I hope this helped, good luck this season.

What I do is not even look at the hitter. I look straight into the catcher. I get the sign, decide if I like it, stare into the mitt and fire.

That is a very dumb idea. Look at the hitter ALWAYS. Gage everything the hitter does. Hit walk to the plate, his stance and his warm up swings. From that you can tell wat to pitch where to pitch and how he should react. Unless you have an MLB catcher you have to also jugde wat your up against.

@ TheNumbers: If a good or bad hitter comes to the plate they all have weakness’s. And dont be afraid of giving up a few hits either. From Each atbat take something from it. Ive had hitters Put me to the fence, the next at bats they cant even touch the ball. For instance A-rod. He has a long swing and is balanced. Id be throwing a low inside fastball, then a High and away Fastball. Come threw with a dropping low and in change. and uve got urself a K. Screw it up and he wil put you well over the fence.

Booma

I agree with: “If a good or bad hitter comes to the plate they all have weakness’s. And dont be afraid of giving up a few hits either. From Each atbat take something from it.”

Every pitcher should try to remember the hitters last atbat, pitch sequence and think about if they liked the outcome.

I disagree with: “Look at the hitter ALWAYS. Gage everything the hitter does. Hit walk to the plate, his stance and his warm up swings. From that you can tell wat to pitch where to pitch and how he should react.”

At the High School level I don’t see how “his walk to the plate” would help a pitcher at all. Watching his practice swing won’t tell much either because a good hitter will adjust to the pitching and change his swing accordingly. You just have to go by what happened in the last atbat. If its the first time he has hit in the game throw your pitch and make him hit it. If he makes you pay, then next time you know where not to throw it and youll have a better idea of what to do. Watching the hitter go to the plate is just going to slow the game down and possibly break your rythym. You should hardly see any of his practice swings anway because you should be focusing on the batter, then after dealing with that batter the next hitter usually walks into the box and does whatever ritual he does before each pitch. I havent seen many guys step into the box and take full hacks at the air.

And about pitching to A-rod: “For instance A-rod. He has a long swing and is balanced. Id be throwing a low inside fastball, then a High and away Fastball. Come threw with a dropping low and in change. and uve got urself a K. Screw it up and he wil put you well over the fence.”

Don’t you think most pitchers would do this if they thought it worked? A-rod can catch up to anyones fastball and hes proven that. Throwing it high and away would mean its a ball and since he has very good plate discipline, he wouldnt chase. Also, if it was a strike, hes going to send it over the fence, because like i said before, he can catch up to anyones fastball.

Its very hard to pitch to A-Rod let alone any major league hitter and if that worked im sure many people would be doing it and would be doing it alot more often. And if its that simple for you, why arent you pitching or coaching in the Major leagues?

There are, as we all know, two sides to every question.
I’d like to share a story with you that illustrates the danger inherent in not paying any attention to the hitter. Sometime back in the early 1950s the Yankees picked up Johnny Mize. One night, shortly before the game was to start, someone, perhaps a newspaperman, went looking for him and couldn’t find him. Finally he was located—in the Yankees’ locker room, practicing golf swings with a bat. GOLF SWINGS? When asked what that was all about, Mize simply said "Garcia’s pitching tonight."
Mike Garcia, also known as The Bear, was a big, hard-throwing power pitcher who gave the Yanks more trouble than the rest of the Indians’ pitching staff put together. Now, he was a creature of habit; like so many pitchers he had a pattern he fell into. He would, almost invariably, start off with a fast ball low and inside. Well, the game started, and at one point Mize came to bat with a couple of runners on base. Garcia’s first pitch to him was a low inside fast ball…and Mize was ready for it. He golfed that pitch way back into the right-field stands for a three-run homer.
Garcia’s mistake was not paying attention to signs that indicated that Mize was ready for a low inside fast ball.
When Ed Lopat was talking to me about strategic pitching he told me about certain things to watch out for when a batter steps up to the plate that would give a pitcher a clue as to what NOT to throw to a hitter, as well as what to throw to him. Believe me, I learned that lesson very well, and as a result I got quite a few strikeouts! :slight_smile:

@ bosox: A-rod might be a good hitter but hes not a god…

If you notice he does have a hard time knowing the outside of the the plate on days. Yes he can pull the pitch. BUT this is the first atbat and hell watch it.

“At the High School level I don’t see how “his walk to the plate” would help a pitcher at all. Watching his practice swing won’t tell much either because a good hitter will adjust to the pitching and change his swing accordingly…Watching the hitter go to the plate is just going to slow the game down and possibly break your rythym.”

^^ You clearly dont pay attention to it if you say that. I have guys in the top division in victorian (australia) winter baseball walk to the plate with different angles. Some guys are actors. You can tell this with there walk and there at bat performance. Whereas a good hitter will setup the most comfortable way possible. Then theres the aggressive and defencive hitters. I can place money that you could notice this. As for adjustments, everyone makes them, its just the good hitters that make them for the right pitches. And WTF are u doing in the Rhythm after uve got someone out or been hit. Pay attention ingame. Slight things can get you a K or put u yard.

@ Zita: Good story, very entertaining :slight_smile: