From strikeouts to walks

My son is pitching Varsity, he had a game where he pitched a complete game shut-out and had 12 strikeouts. There were about 12 days off when there were rainouts, etc. so he did not pitch during a game. The next start he had trouble finding the strike zone, missing all over the place. Only pitched 2 innings, then a couple days later, he started again and had a terrible time, couldn’t throw strikes, curveball didn’t work, got behind in the count and when fastball was over the plate it got hit hard. What could have happened in between? He threw a bullpen to me yesterday and still having control problems. His pitching coach is no help, said “something’s wrong with your mechanics”. Help anybody?

It could be mechanics. But it could be something else. And it could be more than one thing. Maybe the rough outing was caused by poor pitch calling/sequencing. And then his confidence took a hit. Does he have any pain?

We can help with mechanics issues if you post some video. It will be more difficult for us to help with other issues without more information.

Tell me about it!!!
You hear stories—I certainly did—horror stories from pitchers, all centering on one theme: “My stuff isn’t working!” It could be anything—the fastball has lost its hippity-hop, the curveball hangs, the slider is flat, the knuckleball just refuses to knuckle, the strike zone jumps around like a jackrabbit on steroids…everything goes wrong all at once, and all too often the poor beleaguered pitching coach is powerless to help. It seems to be the case with your kid, doesn’t it?
I can offer one suggestion. Have the kid throw a full bullpen session with a professional pitcher, major league preferred, watching, and see what the pro has to say. It may be something with the mechanics, or the kid just may have lost his feel for his pitches and needs to get it back, or the problem may be between his ears and has nothing to do with his arm or his shoulder or whatever the heck he throws the ball with. Very often a major league pitcher will come up with a solution. Worth a try, isn’t it?
I remember one time when I started thinking about this situation and wondering how I would handle such a situation. Suddenly it morphed into “Can I handle it?”, and one night I had a tremendous nightmare from which I awoke with a start and couldn’t get back to sleep for two hours. Then one afternoon I arrived at Yankee Stadium, and I ran into my incredible pitching coach—one of the Yankees’ Big Three. We got to talking, and I found myself telling him about that nightmare. He interrupted me with a quiet “We’ll start there”, and he introduced me to a psychological strategy I had never suspected he knew anything about. In an hour or so he knocked the whole thing out of commission, restored my confidence, demolished any anxieties I might have had—about pitching in tight spots with less than my best stuff—and,in effect, gave me a powerful psychological shot in the arm at a time when I really needed it.
The next afternoon I pitched a two-hit shutout, no walks, twelve strikeouts, and I never had that problem again. That was one way.

There goes my stupid computer again, repeating itself…

momofpitcher ,

Well, I don’t like to make judgments based only the limited amount of information you supplied. I’d like to know what some of his past varsity numbers have been. Things like IPs, BB’s, K’s, # pitches, strike percentage, and definitely 1st pitch strike percentage. That way it would be much easier to tell if what he’s experiencing is an anomaly or has been something of a chronic condition that has finally created problems.

Scorekeeper makes a good point. I would also like to know what did he do during the 12 days of rainouts.

We experienced a lot of rainouts in the beginning of the season and we had our guys throw 4 inning simulated games on their start days along with their regular throwing and bullpens.

If his PC said “something wrong with your mechanics”. Did he offer suggestions to fix te problem? What were the suggestions? If he offered no suggestions, find a new PC.

If you post video, we could offer suggestions if it is mechanical.

When we find out we should share it with one of my favorite pitchers, Tim Lincecum. :slight_smile: