Bullpen = 90; Game = 85 MPH; Need help plz

When I throw in the bullpen I throw heat I’ve topped out at 95 but in the games I always slow down the pitch subconciously. It’s not so much that I’m scared of hitting the batter(this season I’ve already hit 9) but I think its the pressure of throwing strikes. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Alan

Maybe because of the fact that… while throwing in the bullpen… you can quit any given moment so you won’t have to think about wearing down your arm?
In game, apart from the fact you want to strike someone out the legimate way and not the lethal way, you have to think about the rest of the game

Taking it line by line…“topped out at 95” As a HS varsiity pitcher this is a number that is not mentioned often. If you throw this hard, you are definitely known to college and professional scouts.

“this season I’ve already hit 9”…if you are slowing down subconciously and still hitting this many batters inadvertently (not intentionally) then you definitely have a control problem that needs addressed.

I just watched the University of South Carolina play Tenneesee at their stadium in Columbia, South Carolina. What a fantastic venue!!! None of the pitchers threw less than 90 mph and they topped out at 96. One from Tennessee was a lefty, smallish in stature that threw 95mph but about every fifth pitch went all the way to the backstop. He lasted 1 and 1/3 inns. Big arm, no control. I am sure with the kind of program Tennessee has, he’s got all the resources available to correct the control issues. But they still exist.

Moral of the story is: keep plugging away, find yourself a capable pitching coach worthy of your talent and believe in yourself. You will get all kinds of opportunities with that big of an arm.

I used to have a similiar problem back in HS. My bullpens were always solid and i felt great but once on the mound my mechaniques would get jacked and inconsistant velocity ranging from like 75 to 87 id max. finally my coach just told to focus more on the catcher just worry about playing catch like the bullpens. (easier said than done) To let the catcher himself worry about the batter but for me to just make the pitches. During the bullpen its just you and the catcher you dont have to worry about the batter. You just worry about making your pitches.

thanks for the replies. and i know its also a control problem because of every 6 pitches i throw 1 is wild. also i had never played, last year was my first baseball season ever so im still learning how to pitch and right now im working on fixing my mechanics to make them cleaner. I went to a showcase and all the scouts that talked to me wanted cleaner mechanics and more control but they said i had potential. getting over this problem would really really help me out.

McCovey: i know what u mean my coach said the same thing. but its way hard just focusing on the catcher when theres a bat right infront of his glove. i’ve been bringing freshmen into the bull pen with me too help me with this problem, theyre my dummies lol

Here’s something I used to do when I was a little snip (and continued to do well into my playing days). I would get a catcher, and he would take up his position behind the plate while I took the mound, and we would play a little game we called “ball and strike”. He would position his mitt high, low, inside, outside, every which way but standing on his head :lol:, and what I had to do was get the ball smack-dab into the pocket of the mitt. We would go at this for an hour at a time, and I would throw every pitch I had—and what a good, satisfying “thwack” it was to hear the ball hit its target! Also, from time to time we would have a guy stand in the batter’s box, sometimes batting right-handed and at other times batting lefthanded, and I would zero in on the strike zone (which was much bigger than it is now). Believe me, I can’t think of a better way to sharpen up one’s control!
As far as the mental aspect is concerned—you did say you’re afraid you’ll hit the batter, because you’ve done it nine times—here’s something Mariano Rivera does and has been doing for years. Before he even starts to warm up, he takes a couple of minutes to get himself into a mindset he calls “the eye of the tiger”—a quiet but very intense focus in which nothing exists for him except getting the batters out. Then he warms up, and he takes this focus with him to the mound—along with that devastating cutter. And he makes the batters look very, very stupid. If you’ve ever seen him pitch, you’ll notice the calm, “nothing will stop me” determination on his face. He gets the ball, he throws the ball, he retires the side, and he takes a shower. With a little practice you too can attain and maintain this focus. I used to do something like that, and it paid off.
And another thing you might do—a lot of pitchers have found this useful—is, while warming up, think about pitching the first two innings of the game, so that when you get out to the mound it’s already the third inning, you’ve settled in and found your groove, and you can just pitch without having to be concerned about anything except getting those three delicious outs.
Finally—be sure that the arm slot you’re using is comfortable for you, and be sure to complete your pitches—follow through so that you end up in a good fielding position. What they call “pitching to contact” these days is what my old pitching coach described simply as “Get the ball over the plate and make them hit it. Make them go after YOUR pitch, what you WANT them to hit.” You can do that, and you can go for the strikeout, depending on the circumstances. And remember what old Satchel Paige used to say—home plate don’t move. :slight_smile: 8)

you should know because what you do in the bullpen, should be the same as on the mound especially in the mental side,

i know some people never command in bullpen, they just throw whatever they like, then when they on mound , it become diffrenet, then what is the point to do in bullpen?

so hopefully u can be familiar on the mound as you do in bullpen,

Get on the mound, look at the batter, and whisper to yourself, “He is not going to beat me.” Deep breaths. Tight Muscles are slow muscles. Have fun out there, it’s a game. Remember that. Pump the ball and hit your spots. There is a GREAT book called the Mental ABC’s of Pitching. It’s all about composure and confidence. It will do wonders for you.

Hmmmm I would say the best thing to do is throw as much in game pitching as possible, what I mean by this is, instead of throwing just a bullpen session, get some guys on your team to actually hit against you. This way you will be used to facing batters, worst case scenerio is that all of YOUR team mates get to bat against a 95 mph fastball often. So its a two-fold win eh?

It could be a whole bunch of things i used to have the same problem id be fantastic in bullpens amaze my coaches then bam gametime i cant find the plate velocity isnt there its just well not me. What it came down to was confidence and trust in myself and teamates. A few things i can note that would cause this.

  1. No trust in catcher when theres actual batters at stake do you trust your catcher to block that 1-2 curve with runners on 1st and 2nd? If you can your a lot better off then those who dont.

  2. Do you trust yourself you have to go in with the mindset that no one will hit me im here for a reason and that reason is to shut them down. Once you have this confidence it helps soooo much worrying about messing up leads to messing up.

  3. Are you chaning the way you normally pitch from a bullpen to a game just because a batter is there? Sometimes as people have mentioned you focus too much on the hitter and not on the catcher change that! you could have someone film a good bullpen session of you then a game and see if your mechanics change at all.

Basically what im trying to say is wreak confidence go out there dont think about anything but throwing the ball where you want to. Who cares if you sail a couple that will surely strike fear in the batter who has no idea where it is going i mean 95 coming at you and he has no idea where its ending up makes for a hitter wanting to get out of there as fast as possible.

Throw the ball through the catcher.

Most pitchers try to throw it to the catcher.

Your perception serves you well. You just answered your own question, one that every pitcher, at every level, has to - must, deal with.

Coach B.

maybe its because in the bullpen ur all losse like ur not tense so you hold ur ball with a looser grip rather in game situation ur up tight and u tend to hold the ball with a firmer grip. the ball comes out faster with a looser grip due to less friction

The answer is repeatable mechanics, do the same thing every time and then your confidence will go up as to how much control you have.