Mindset in a Jam?

What should a pitcher’s mindset be when he’s in a jam?

Let me know if I have to be more specific.

This definitely changes based on what you mean by a “jam”. Here are some of mine:

First and second, less than 2 outs, I’m thinking that I need an out. Expecting a bunt, so unless it is a clear out at third, get the out at first. If the guy isn’t bunting, my mindset would be trying to get a ground ball. There is nothing better than getting out of a jam with a DP. Most of the time, if there are no outs, a DP kills the momentum and the next guy won’t get a hit.

Bases loaded, less than 2 outs, try to limit a big inning. Work ahead in the count so you won’t have to “get one over”. With bases loaded, a 2-0 or 3-0 count makes it extremely tough on the pitcher. Don’t try to make the perfect pitch.

From 1999-2002 in the MLB:

Bases loaded with no outs produced an average of 2.417 runs.
Bases loaded with 1 out produced almost a full run less. Lesson: get an out.

http://www.tangotiger.net/RE9902.html

the mindset should always be to execute a quality pitch by staying in the moment and not worrying about what has gone wrong in the inning. Don’t worry about all the statistics that were just mentioned or the count or how many runs have already scored. Just take a deep breath (which should be part of your pre pitch routine anyway) and execute your pitch.

I think you’re saying what should actually be going through his head as he prepares to pitch. I was talking about the process in terms of choosing what you want to execute.

In terms of what you want to execute, Lanky hit it on the head. That is to make a quality pitch. It shouldn’t matter what the situation is, nor should pitchers get caught up in strategizing for situational ptching.

Keep it simple. Let the catcher or coach call the game and the pitch. The pitcher’s job is to make quality pitches. Guys can get into trouble when all these situational problems start to creep into their heads and they lose focus on the job at hand.

Once again, the job is to make quality pitches.

For sure have to believe in your stuff. My son has said his focus is his game and what he is throwing…doesnt care if it is the number 9 hitter or the all state power hitter. It can depend on the situation as well. If you up 6-0 in the 4th inning of a 7 inning high school game with no outs and the bases loaded it would be foolish to groove fastballs belt high trying to get a K. A good catcher or coach (just my opinion) will call to have the ball pounded down and on the outside of the plate to try and get a double play grounder…give up a run in that situation. Thats just my opinion of course. You also have to remember, depending on the situation the hitter is feeling pressure too. Go against type. If youve been jumping ahead with first pitch fastball strikes, throw a curve, get him to chase. But, really comes down (in my opinion) to believing in your stuff and being to let things like an error, a walk or a little blooper or two that dropped go and getting re focused.

In terms of what you want to execute, Lanky hit it on the head. That is to make a quality pitch. It shouldn’t matter what the situation is, nor should pitchers get caught up in strategizing for situational ptching.

Keep it simple. Let the catcher or coach call the game and the pitch. The pitcher’s job is to make quality pitches. Guys can get into trouble when all these situational problems start to creep into their heads and they lose focus on the job at hand.

Once again, the job is to make quality pitches.[/quote]

That doesn’t really make sense. A quality pitch is determined by the situation, count, etc.

There isn’t just one generic “quality pitch” that fits every spot. I agree that it doesn’t help to over-think your pitches, though, but to blindly follow what your coach calls and ignoring the situation doesn’t seem to be the best idea.

Not trying to be argumentative.

[quote]hat doesn’t really make sense. A quality pitch is determined by the situation, count, etc.

There isn’t just one generic “quality pitch” that fits every spot. I agree that it doesn’t help to over-think your pitches, though, but to blindly follow what your coach calls and ignoring the situation doesn’t seem to be the best idea. [/quote]

You can throw quality pitches when the only situation is to get the hitter behind in the count, strike him out, get him to chase a ball out of the zone, etc. I don’t feel that you need to define situations to make quality pitches.

I never said to blindly follow anything or to ignore anything. However, the more focus you can maintain on the pitch at hand, without getting bogged down in situational strategy, the more you will be able to throw that quality pitch, whatever it may be.

One day my wise and wonderful pitching coach and I were discussing just this situation. He asked me if I had ever had to come into a game with a 3-0 count on the hitter late in the game, say the eighth inning. I had never faced such a situation—but suppose the pitcher who had started the game ran into such a jam, bases loaded, none out, and he had run the count to 3-and-0 and it was at that point that he was removed from the game, so I would be coming in to pitch in mid-batter. My immediate reply was this: “You can be sure I’m not going to walk him, and I’m not going to give him anything he can hit.” What I would do is give him something that he would either miss or foul off, which would make the count 3-and-1 and thus give me and my defense a little breathing room—so they could move to double-play depth. This is a definite strategic-pitching setup, and what it calls for is old Filthy McNasty—my good old 86MPH hard slider, maybe with the crossfire.
And Steady Eddie Lopat agreed. In fact, he suggested that I strike the guy out and then induce a nice juicy double play and get out of the inning with no further scoring! (And so I did.) :smiley: 8)