That often happens when a pitcher is facing a tough situation—he (or she) gets an extra rush of adrenaline and gets super fired-up, knowing that the chips are down and what becomes all-important is getting the side out. I was a starting pitcher who often relieved between starts (which counted, for me, as “throwing every day”) and when I would come into the game in a tight spot—such as having to protect a one-run lead in the ninth inning with the bases loaded—I would not only get an extra rush, but also an incredible sense of calmness, a feelling that nothing would stop me from getting the side out.
And not only in the ninth inning. I will always remember the first time I tried out my newly-acquired slider. It was the top of the seventh inning, and the other team had cut our lead from 6-0 to 6-4 and had driven our starter from the mound, no thanks to a nasty blister. I came in there with one out and the bases full, and the first batter I had to face was a pinch-hitter who would stay in the game and play second base. I signaled to my catcher to call for just the slider, nothing else, because I wanted to see how it was working. I struck out that batter on three of them—the last one being a crossfire—and I got the next batter on four pitches, the last one being another crossfire slider (and you should have seen what happened to that guy! He swung so hard he lost his balance and fell over on his tush with his arms and legs up in the air like some overturned bug!).
I pitched the next two innings, three up and three down every time, and we got our three-run lead back and won 9-4. What I felt was a deep satisfaction, knowing that the slider would do very nicely as my strikeout pitch. No doubt you must have felt the same way, knowing that your stuff was working for you. :baseballpitcher: