Let me try to answer this one, Johnny. I get that newsletter all the time, and I very often have comments based on my own experience.
Ed Lopat, who was my pitching coach for almost four years (and one of the finest anyone could ever hope to work with), once told me: “Move the ball around—high, low, inside, outside, and change speeds. And stay away from the middle of the plate.” When you do that—move the ball around—you change the batter’s eye level all the time so he doesn’t have a chance to set himself for a particular pitch. Lopat knew that I was a sidearmer with not much on speed but with a pretty extensive arsenal of breaking pitches, not to mention the crossfire which I used almost all the time, and he emphasized the importance of this. He told me, for example, that just about any pitch I threw could be turned into a nice changeup, and he demonstrated a few such for me so that I could work with that particular approach to changing speeds.
He also told me that except in rare circumstances I should never throw the same pitch in the same place at the same speed twice in a row, and he knew whereof he spoke. There have been so many instances of a pitcher throwing two curve balls in succession, and the second one hangs, and the batter swings and BLAM, over the fence it goes! The oc-
casions where I would do such a thing were usually when I knew that the batter had either not seen that pitch before or couldn’t hit it for sour apples, and so—particularly in the latter case—I would give said batter a veritable overdose of that pitch, albeit at different speeds and locations. I will never forget that relief appearance in which I wanted to see how my newly acquired slider would work; I gave the batter (a pinch-hitter who was going to stay in the game) three sliders in a row, inside corner, outside corner, and a crossfire knee-high over the plate, and the guy never took his bat off his shoulder, just stood there and went “duh” with a stupid expression on his face!
So, however you do it, mix up your pitches. 8) :baseballpitcher: