Psyched out by "the stretch"

you’d think after 25 years of ball popping over to the stretch wouldnt be a big deal?

I still hear in the back of my head "%*@$!, I hate pitching from the stretch"
and I know that has an effect on the whole process.

I lose quite a bit in the stretch, but nothing rediculous.
its the mental aspect thats hard to shake…

Let me start by telling you a funny story about the stretch.
As you know, Rule 8:01b stipulates that a pitcher, when working from the set position, must come to a full stop of one second before delivering the pitch—and I guess it’s that interruption that’s screwing you up. Anyhow, the Yankee pitchers in the late '40s used to get away with murder; when pitching from the stretch they would come to just a slight hesitation before delivering the ball. But in 1950 the umpires decided they were going to enforce that rule, and so it was that in one game Vic Raschi had four balks called on him. He was ready to scream, but fellow pitcher Allie Reynolds said he would put a stop to it, and the next day he did. He was on the mound, and there was a runner on first, and Allie just held on to the ball—and then he would go to the rosin bag and futz with it—and then get back on the rubber and hold onto the ball. The plate umpire was getting very restless and went out to the mound and asked Allie, “Why don’t you throw the ball?” Reynolds said he was afraid to—because if he released the ball he’d get a balk called on him!
The umpire said the heck with it and ruled that the Yankee pitchers could go back to what they were doing. :lol:
Now, I have an idea that some coach or other may have told you that you have to pause for a couple of seconds at the top of the stretch before coming down to the set position. What a load of crap, if you’ll pardon my French. There’s nothing in the rule book that says you have to do that or in any other way interrupt your motion before coming to the set position. Have you ever watched Mike Mussina, for example? When pitching with a runner on base he has the same fluid motion that he does when pitching from the full windup—he just comes to the full stop before he throws his knuckle-curve. And here’s another point: you can pitch from the full windup with the bases loaded.
So I say to you, there’s nothing to be concerned about when it comes to pitching from the stretch. The whole point of the stretch, or set position, or whatever, is to make it more difficult for a runner to get a jump on you and try to steal a base. And another tip: you can use the slide-step very effectively in this situation. :slight_smile:

if you pitch better from the wind up use it all the time

Not unless you are still playing in 10 year old leagues. Anytime runner is on base you give them a free 90 feet? No way!

At 25 there is no way you can avoid the stretch, what you have to do is change your mindset…of course sometimes it’s easier said than done. Are you slide stepping or overly worried about delivery time? If so what is your time? Are you over complicating it? My best recommendation is always back up to basics…I’m wearing it out but here is a vid of my son…he’s about 3 to 3.2 to the plate…I think I’d like to see his knee draw slightly back to his other knee more but as a general rule he stays within his velocity region 90-86

What I want you to note is that he doesn’t over-complicate, keeps within his rhythm, he doesn’t do more than 1 look once hes set (Sees all he needs to see before he goes set). Too much motion before being set just gives the runner more time to gain ground…so keep it minimum. Just backing up to basics AND having some success will change your mindset and get you to where it’s no different one way or the other…you’ll note that in the later part of the inning he balks…dropped his hands before he came off…but whattya gonna do? :smiley:

If you have the option you might pitch from the stretch all the time for awhile. Spending more time on the part of your game that is your weakest will improve your overall pitching. And then when you have conquered it going back to the windup will be all that much sweeter. Alot of professionals never pitch from the windup.

You might also try to adopt a routine just at the time you usually are thinking about how you hate to go to the windup, insert a habit like focusing on the foul pole and create a mental picture. Then go at it. Train your mind…don’t let it train you.

Good luck.

From the stretch I use a slide step
I’ll bring my knee up and hold it there and stare at the runner for a second and then throw. It lets me keep people on and is a good pick off move.

it’s a lot like Dan Haring’s wind-up, but i do it from the stretch.

As long as i dont get my momentum going forward. it’s not a balk.

From the stretch I always tend to rush and walk batters.

BTW kim… chat :lol:

In order to be a good pitcher, you better be able to pitch from the stretch. The best pitchers in the league are best with runners in scoring position. It’s a time to use the hitters anxious aggressive energy against them. My best advice to you would be to practice mostly from the stretch.

You must be a lefty, but anyway…

The rules are open to liberal interpretation. I believe that the rules also state that a pitcher cannot touch his lips, but it happens all the time.

The pitcher touches his chapstick-painted lips, pretends to wipe his fingertips off, and then delivers a pitch.

BTW- I didn’t know that you had to stop for a whole second. I thought that it was just a complete stop.