Recently, I’ve been noticing my relief appearances during the summer season tend to be about 3-5 mph faster than my starts. I have the same routine every time and I’m wondering if anybody has a solution to my problem.
Depending on if you come in as relief off the bench or previously from another position. If you come in after playing another position then your tapping-into runner’s legs from fielding and hitting. If you are coming in off the bench to the bullpen then to the mound then it is mind-set of watching people in motion which gives you a “continue to fight” mind-set. If it is the latter of the two then at your next START I would watch a video of someone pitching first or as crazy as it may sound watch a “horse-race” yes an actual horse-race clip from youtube or something and if you don’t have access to video then put the image of horses racing in your mind every time you step to pitch in your stride. The mind is a powerful thing my friend.
As a starter, you can’t exactly go max velo from the start of the game if you’re planning on going 80+ pitches, you’ll get tired. For my starts I’m probably a few mph slower in the first few innings, but by the fifth or so inning, I’ll start to put more on it. But as a reliever, or especially as a closer, you can be max intent on every pitch without having to conserve anything for later. So psychologically, without realizing it, you might be holding back something back during your starts in order to last longer, but when relieving, you know that you don’t have to save anything. It might just be me, but does anyone else notice a velocity increase later in the game? Sometimes, towards the 80, 90 pitch mark I feel like I’m throwing harder than I ever do when I’m fresh. Maybe it’s on the adrenaline of the late innings.