Awkward Curveball

Dear Coach Ellis,
I have a question for you and I’ve looked all over for answers and asked a few differnt pitching coaches. Well, a few games ago I was called on to close the game, well I stepped out to the mound and threw a few fastballs, change-ups, and curveballs. They all worked perfectly fine. I struck out the first two batters both on curveballs and i used the same sequence change-up, fastball, curveball. But when the third batter stepped up I threw the same sequence of change-up, fastball, then curveball… but my curveball went sailing over the batters head. I went to throw the curveball again and it went sailing over his head again… and then the final try i threw the curveball and it still went sailing over his head! That happend almost two weeks ago and I’ve been working on getting my curveball back but it is the same results, they go way off target. Am I too over-confident in my pitching? What do you think im doing wrong? And is there any way I can practice to get my curveball back?

make sure your really getting on top of that pitch. its the key to the sharp 12-6 break.

You were lucky. A lot of pitchers make the mistake of using the same sequence every time—they fall into a pattern, and the results can be disastrous, because the batters can pick up your sequence every time and just sit on a particular pitch. You need to mix up your pitches—my old pitching coach once told me, “Never the same pitch, never the same location, never the same speed”, and he knew whereof he spoke.
Let me give you a concrete example of what happens to a pitcher who falls into a pattern. Back in the early ‘50s the Yankees picked up Johnny Mize to play first base. One night before a game against the Indians some newspaperman went looking for him and couldn’t find him. Finally he was located in the Yankees’ locker room—he was practicing golf swings with his bat. GOLF swings, for Pete’s sake! When asked about it he said simply, "Garcia’s pitching tonight."
Mike Garcia was a big powerful Indians righthander who gave the Yankees more trouble than the rest of the Tribe’s pitching staff put together. But he was a creature of habit in that he always used the same sequence—he always started the batter off with a low inside fast ball. Well, the game started, and Mize came to bat with two men on base, and Garcia came in there with—yep, you guessed it, 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, and the Yankees never relinquished that lead.
You can be sure Mize never saw another fast ball from Garcia.
The point is, you need to mix up your pitches and keep the batters off balance, and the curve ball is only a part of it. You might consider adding another pitch to your arsenal at the same time you’re working on getting that curve down in the strike zone. :slight_smile: :baseballpitcher:

I’ve been out for awhile but since I’ve been back on my feet… I started working on my curve since I couldnt throw it worth a crap… I found somewhat of a grip that is weird… But it works!,… Works great…

But if i used the regular curveball i would lose complete control so that is what i did… Changed up my grip.

Unorthodox or not, if you’ve found a grip that works for you, stay with it.

theres no ‘exact’ way to throw the curveball, like he mentioned before, if it works for you then you found yourself a curveball

Look, all I can say is that u might have lost it 4 a bit. Stuff like that happens, but dont get upsessed with it. This is recent, Brett Myers, a Phillies starter, went down 2 the minors 2 get his throw back. He lost the ability 2 throw fastballs, splitters, and changeups. He was brought back up just 1 day ago. He dropped his splitter completely, and picked up a slider. His changup was fine, and his 12-6 curve was perfect. But 4 some reason, he still couldn’t throw his fastball on target.

Look, what Im trying 2 say is that last year and every year before that he was great. This even happens 2 pros.Dont worry, with practice, u should get it back. Maybe u just arent realizing that u made a slight difference 2 the grip by accident, and that when u threw it up there. And u got confused and thought u lost the throw.