Rear Back and Throw The Darn Thing!

Its about 3:28 am and i seem to have nothing better to do but think about pitching. This is my time where i usually think about life and think about the past. I try to not let little things dwell on me but somehow they seem to creep up on ya. Ive realized throughout the years that when u step onto that mound u can’t really seem to care what happens next except win the darn game. Do your job to put up that 0 on your innings. Get those batters out. Or just keep the lead. Whatever happens, who cares, just do your job and complete your role.

The only way to step on the field is to feel 100% confident in yourself and in your teammates because heck it is a team sport and heck it is just a game. Well sometimes… But control what you can control. which too me is preparing yourself to the best ability possible that you can. Weights, bullpens, nutrition, running, throwing etc. and trust that your teammates are doing the same. With this mentality you are unstoppable. No hitter will stop you. Step onto that mound with that "hear is my best and im going to beat you"attitude. Be a bulldog. Just remember its you plus 8 more. 9 vs. 1. Just go out there REAR BACK AND THROW THE DARN THING!

Strike 3. Grab Some Pine Meat! Now who’s next?

I was talking to a friend that spent a couple of years with the Giants major league team. He wound up getting injured and wound up in spring training with the Indians. During that training camp, management brought in a pitching guru who gave all the pitchers a 4 hour lecture on mechanics. Needless to say, everybody was boared to tears. At the end of the lecture, he turned to Bobby Feller who was also there and asked him if he had anything to add. Feller said “Sometines you just got to let er rip. Hit the showers.”

Love it! My college coach’s response on the key to hitting…

“Well, when the ball goes over the plate you swing at it”.

[quote=“McCovey Cove”]Its about 3:28 am and i seem to have nothing better to do but think about pitching. This is my time where i usually think about life and think about the past. I try to not let little things dwell on me but somehow they seem to creep up on ya. Ive realized throughout the years that when u step onto that mound u can’t really seem to care what happens next except win the darn game. Do your job to put up that 0 on your innings. Get those batters out. Or just keep the lead. Whatever happens, who cares, just do your job and complete your role.

. . . Just go out there REAR BACK AND THROW THE DARN THING!

Strike 3. Grab Some Pine Meat! Now who’s next?[/quote]

One frustrating part of coaching LL Fall Ball are the wanna-be pitchers - kids with goods arms who decide to change speeds and locations instead of rearing back and throwing the ball down the middle fo the plate until the other team shows they can hit the ball. Last weekend this happened twice. 1st pitcher gets the first hitter out on three fastballs, then spends another 40 pitches throwing junk ball (changing speeds and locations of his balls) before getting the third out. 2nd pitcher comes in, throws straight FB and strikes the side out. The next inning and 50 pitches later, he throws his next FB. His comment was he was trying his hardest, changing speeds and location. But the results were balls inside, ouside, low high, over the batters head, under the backstop, etc. The only place he didn’t change location was putting the ball over the plate.

We fortunately won the game when the last pitcher blew 9 strikes past the final three hitters in the 6th for a save. He wasn’t messin around with changing speeds or location. It was, here’s my best stuff, now lets see what you can do. The 4, 5 and 6 hitters didn’t come close to hitting the ball.

Gotta agree at least at the LL level. Rear back and throw the ball.

There’s a name for, as you put it, “wanna-be” pitchers with good arms who, instead of just rearing back and throwing the darn thing, concentrate on location and changing speeds, etc. They are known as finesse pitchers. Some call them junkballers. These are pitchers who do not have a fast ball to speak of. I was one of those, many moons ago, and because I recognized the fact that I would never be a rip-roarin’ fireballer I went in the other direction and built up a very good arsenal around two pitches—a slider, which I nicknamed “Filthy McNasty” after a character in an old W.C. Fields movie because that was exactly what it was, and a very good knuckle-curve. I became a finesse pitcher—a “snake-jazzer”—and I won a lot of games as a starter and rescued a lot of games as a late-inning reliever, precisely because I stayed away from the middle of the plate. I concentrated on location, changing speeds, mixing up my pitches—and driving the hitters up the wall because they couldn’t get the ball out of the infield!
I had an incredible pitching coach, an active major league pitcher who told me many things about strategic pitching, deception, keeping the ball as close to the plate and as far away from the batter as possible, all the things a finesse pitcher needs to know. He told me, “Move the ball around—high, low, inside, outside, change speeds, and stay away from the middle of the plate.” His name was Ed Lopat, and he was a lefthander who specialized in beating the Cleveland Indians (and a few other teams) to a pulp, and what I learned from him was something the value of which can never be measured.
So there are pitchers—like Feller, Raschi, Gibson, Verlander and Sabathia—who can rear back and throw the darn thing, because they were and are fireballers—and there are others, like Brecheen, Lopat, Jamie Moyer (and yes, me) who didn’t. and don’t, have a fast ball to speak of. And they, and we, won and win games. It takes all kinds. The important thing is that big beautiful “w” in the box score. :slight_smile: 8)