hey, i play summer ball, and i did really good, going 4-1 with a .85 era along with 59 strikeouts and 8 bb. we made it to regionals, and i pitched the first game. right when i was warming up in the bullpen, my fastball wasnt hard anymore, cause during regular season i was hitting 75 consistently, and warming up i was maybe hitting 68, and my curveball was not breaking anymore, whatsoever. i pitched okay that game, i got the win, but i walked 4 batters in 5 innings, which is way above what i do. we won rigionals, and 4 days later i pitched the first game of state, and it was the same story with my fastball and changeup. i won that game to though, but i walked 5 people in five innings. please can anyone tell me what has happened? btw the mound i am pitching off of at regionals and state is about 6 inches shorter than our home mound. can that make a difference?
It certainly would make a difference. Even in the major leagues there can be differences among mounds—for example, the mound at the Kansas City Royals’ ballpark is lower and flatter than in most other parks, and that can spell disaster for a sinkerball pitcher. Another example: in my day the mound was fifteen inches high, and I remember how the Cleveland Indians used to mess around with their mound in order to lower it when Ed Lopat was scheduled to pitch against them—not that it stopped him, because he continued to beat them to a pulp. You have to contend with a shorter mound, which would also affect the distance from there to home plate, and you would have to try to compensate for this.
And I don’t know whether you’re aware of this, but one thing you should do is use your whole body, not just your arm and shoulder. You need to drive off your lower half—use your legs, your hips and your torso in one continuous motion to generate more power behind your pitches; this was a secret I learned a long time ago. Doing this would also take a lot of pressure off your arm and shoulder, and you would in effect be throwing harder with less effort. This is the sort of thing that would work no matter what size mound you’d be pitching from!
And you’d cut down drastically on those walks. By the way, I would also suggest that you try something a little different with that curve ball—perhaps another kind of wrist action, like what I used to do. I was a natural sidearmer, and although I wasn’t very fast I threw hard, and I threw my curve with a sharp karate-chop wrist snap—boy, did that thing break like crazy! Just a few little things, but they could help. And don’t forget to follow through and finish your pitches! 8)