New guy.

Hey everyone my name is Ryan and im a pitcher for the hvnaba AAA division. My main focus right now is how to develop a better pitch sequence, and how to relax and not tense up on the mound. Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Good morning, Ryan, and welcome to LTP.
And welcome to “Strategic Pitching 101”, as I like to call it.
The first step in developing a good pitch sequence is knowing the opposing hitters—their strengths and weaknesses. Let’s take a specific instance: you’re pitching, and one of the hitters you’ve been facing is a guy you got out twice before in the course of the game. Now he’s up for the third time, perhaps in the seventh inning, and you’re wondering—is he doing anything different? Does he stand flatfooted in the batter’s box? Is he, perhaps, shifting his feet, or moving closer to the front of the box? Is he crowding the plate, or does he hit with his foot in the bucket—pull away from the plate as he swings? Is the guy a dead-pull hitter who wouldn’t go to the opposite field if he stood on his head—or is he an opposite-field hitter who generally doesn’t pull the ball—or is he the kind who will hit to all fields? Is he doing something that might indicate he will bunt? Is he the patient kind who will wait for a pitch he likes, or who will take a walk if he can, or does he go after the first pitch no matter where it is? Does he have a short, compact swing or a long slow one? Is he, perhaps, a switch-hitter who may be stronger from one or the other side of the plate, or doesn’t it make any difference? Whatever it is, there remains one cardinal rule: Determine what he’s looking for—and don’t give it to him.
My pitching coach of long ago—his name was Ed Lopat and he was one of the Yankees’ Big Three pitching rotation—told me of another cardinal rule: “Move the ball around—high, low, inside, outside—and change speeds. And stay away from the middle of the plate.” You do not want to throw the batter a pitch in his wheelhouse. You need to know, does he like high pitches? Then your best bet is to keep the ball down, make him hit it on the ground, perhaps right at an infielder. If the guy is a good low-ball hitter, he probably has trouble with the high stuff, so you can give him a pitch up and in, especially if he’s trying to bunt; that high and inside pitch is probably the most difficult thing for a batter to bunt on, and if you give him one of those he will probably pop it up. And another thing Mr. Lopat said, and he was constantly emphasizing it: “Never the same pitch, never the same place, never the same speed.” Mix up your pitches. Confuse the batter, throw off his timing and his thinking. Even if you want to throw the same pitch twice in a row, vary the speed.
And determine what your best pitch is, the one you can go to when you have to go for the strikeout, and build your sequence around that. My best pitch was a slider which I nicknamed “Filthy McNasty” after a character in a W.C. Fields movie because that was exactly what it was—it had a sharp late break to it, and it invariably caught the batters off balance. My next-best pitch was a very good knuckle-curve. And I built my whole snake-jazz repertoire around those two pitches. It helped that I was one of those infuriating sidearmers who used the crossfire extensively; the only person who knew whether or not I would use that delivery was my catcher.
Above all, trust your stuff. Whatever your natural delivery, your natural arm slot, work with it. And relax. remember what old Satchel Paige used to say: “Throw strikes. Home plate don’t move.” I know, this is an awful lot to absorb at one sitting, but somehow I think you can do it. If hyou have more questions, I’m no farther away than Old Stupid—my computer—and there are other folks, pitchers and coaches past and present, who will be glad to advise you.

Welcome, Ryan.

If you haven’t already, post your questions in the other forums where you’ll likely get more responses.

Welcome!