Road to the Campus


#61

Well yesterday I really stressed my warmup, and in the bullpen I had pretty good control. But then in the first inning my control wasn’t there at all. I walked probably 3 people in the first inning, maybe 6 total in three and a third. I only allowed 2 or 3 hits, and struckout one. Our defense was atrocious, resulting in 0 earned runs for me, but nonetheless I pitched horribly. I’m not sure why I am having control problems this season. I am pretty sure it is not my warmup since I really ramped it up in warm ups yesterday. I am doing bands in the season to prevent dead arm, but I doubt that would cause me control problems. Maybe my arm is tired. I am lost at this point.


#62

Sorry about the issues, it is frustrating I know.
Not giving up an ER is encouraging though. Bad D is something you have to deal with in high school or even college sometimes.
This is why coaches don’t ask about things like era when talking to a recruit (generally).
When you are having control issues where are you usually missing?
Does it differ from righties to lefties?
Keep working hard kid.


#63

To be honest, my control is all over everywhere. I’m usually missing outside or high to a righty. Maybe I am not staying on top of the ball? Yesterday I didn’t really have control problems to lefties.
Also, the 0 ER’s are kind of deceptive. Some of the runs scored because of errors probably would have scored anyway. For example, runners on second and third with no outs. Both runners come in on an error, but in all honesty, those runners most likely would have scored anyway. On the plus side, i felt like my velocity was good, and my changeup got a lot of check swings. And I am hitting really well this season, so that helps me release some of my frustration


#64

Well I finally had the breakthrough game I have been hoping for. We got to the field very late, so I had to skip stretching/catch and just throw a bullpen. I threw more pitches in the bullpen then normal, partly because I hadn’t played catch, and partly because I really wanted to get command of the strike zone today. my arm felt stiff, and quite frankly pretty horrible. It didn’t hurt, it just felt like i had nothing on my throws. Well, as it turns out, my pitches looked faster then normal (according to a teammate). I pitched against a team that was very similar to us, not very good, but by no mean horrible. In the first inning, the only blemish was a check swing single over first, but the guy was promptly picked off first, but called safe at second (still not sure what the umpire was looking at.) I then picked him off second, and threw him out at third. After that, it was basically smooth sailing until the seventh. I had only pitched 74 pitches after six, so the coach brought me out for another inning. The first batter of the inning reached on an error by our 2b, and then the second batter of the inning hit a groundball past our ss and into the gap. It became second and third with no outs. I then got a grounball to third that scored the run, then struck out the next guy for the second out, and then got the next guy to ground out to third. My fastball and changeup was really moving fantastic today. I kept a quick pace and just kept letting the ball fly. I ended up with two walks on the day, but both came after the batter had fouled off two or three with two strikes. I ended up striking out eight, and only allowing about four hits. While I lost my chance at a shutout, I still felt amazing about my performance. I threw about 90-95 pitches. My defense really picked me up, and i got a lot of ground balls (only one ball was hit on the fly to the outfield) that my defense made a play on.
FINAL LINE: 7 IP, 2 BB, 8 K’s, 4 H, 0 ER

Season Line: 3.68 ERA, 19 IP, 16 BB, 20 K’s
All season I felt like if I could throw the ball for a strike I could do very well, and today proved that. It feels fantastic to finally feel like my old self and begin to throw the ball for strikes.
I was really surprised when I calculated my ERA because i expected it to be much higher, but I looked back at the stats and found out that I have thrown 10.3 innings without allowing an earned run.

Also, not really pitching related but I have a funny story. Yesterday we played a very weak team that we eventually ended up beating 24-10. In my second at bat of the game, I hit the ball over the right fielders head. I end up scoring for the inside the park homerun, but there is one problem. I missed the second base bag and I ended up getting called out on the appeal.


#65

Good job…nice to be back to form I bet.
A little more than a K an inning is nice work.


#66

Well guys, I’ve been called up yet it doesn’t feel at all like i thought it would. Two people from varsity have gotten injured and 1 quit, so they called up me and two other players. To be honest, I am a little disappointed that it came at this point in the season. I’m still not exactly sure if I have my stuff back, and I know I am not gonna play at all on varsity, so to miss a fourth of the season really hurts. First game is tommorrow vs a truly horrible team, so I might get in an at bat, might not. Overall, i feel this will help me in the long run, but in the present, i feel like it hurts me more then helps.
-RM


#67

Well I pitched against our starting lineup today in an intersquad. I threw 30 pitches total, and while I am not entirely pleased with the results, I do feel that I did well. I had amazing control today, I hit within 3-4 inches of my target about 8 or 9 times out of 10, and when I missed I missed low. I probably faced about 10 batters in all, and I didn’t walk a single one. I didn’t throw my changeup as much as I liked because the catcher forgot to say that the varsity coach wanted three to be a changeup no matter what. Either way, it was good to get my curve some action. I was told that I was dropping my arm angle signifigantly on my curve, so i will try and work on that. Hopefully a higher arm slot will give me more of a 12-6 action. I faced our guy that can go to various D1 programs, including ole miss, and our catcher that is batting .490. I got the D1 guy to hit a high chopper to third, and I jammed our catcher for an out. While I did give up 2-3 good, hard hits, I felt like If i can minimize those mistakes over the plate I will be able to do good. Our team is a good ballclub, with a 13-5 record. While a lot of men made it on base, most of them reached on errors. It also felt like I had very little velocity, so being able to get outs without velocity helps make me less nervous for when I get into game action.
-RM


#68

Get any varsity action yet??


#69

I got sent back down yesterday, and I had a horrible outting. My control was alright, but my velocity was completely gone. I’m coming back in time for the beginning of the playoffs next monday. I played 1 inning in varsity, and got an at bat. I grounded out to 1b on the first pitch, but other then that nothing at all.
-RM


#70

They have playoffs for JV where you live?, thats cool.
So, you got a taste of Varsity ball…there are worse things.
The challenge presented by trying to play a sport…and make no mistake baseball and pitching are tough skills to master…at any sort of high level is ongoing. Unless someone is absurdly talented the challenges get more persistent with every step. There is nothing negative about being sent back down, it’s just part of the game.
Keep working hard.


#71

We Don’t have JV Playoffs. I meant that I was going back up to varsity in time for their playoffs. Sorry If I didn’t make that clear.
I started for JV again today. We were facing a rather horrible team, so I just had the mindset to throw strikes. After Walking the first batter in each of the first three innings, I walk another guy in the fourth, but this time with two outs. I get a strikeout to end the frame, and on we go to the fifth inning. It is at this point I realize that I am throwing a no-hitter. So I go out into the field the next inning, and promptly get the first two guys to strike out. The next batter, I get in a 2-0 count and throw a get-me-over pitch. He hits a solid line drive, but luckily it is right to our SS, so I get the no-hitter. The game was ended after five innings because of the mercy rule.
I felt like my velocity was very good today. I did a little bit of bands right before I left my house for the game, so that may have helped loosen my shoulder. My changeup had great downward movement today. My control was pretty good, except that the umpire was very strict on the # of warmup pitches thrown, so I didn’t feel completely loose before we started each inning. I didn’t throw my curveball at all today, but that was mostly because I wanted to stick with what was working. It looked pretty good in warmups.

5 IP
4 BB
10 K’s
0 ER
0 H

And now our JV season is over, and I will play with Varsity until we get eliminated from the playoffs. I highly doubt I will get any playing time, so the next time I pitch will probably be for my summer team in about two weeks. hopefully I can get it so that my good outings are not so far between and that I can throw a lot of strikes.
-RM


#72

Well we lost today 5-1. Their pitcher almost shotputted the ball to home plate, which gave our hitters some trouble. We had the bases loaded with nobody out down 5-0 in the seventh, but we could only push across one run. High School season is now over. Could possibly play thursday for my summer team, depends on weather and finals, which are this week for me.
-RM


#73

Pitched today for the first time since high school season. All in all, i think it went pretty well. The first inning was rough, but I was able to get out of a second and third jam by catching a comebacker headed into center field. Next inning was also a bit rough, as a walk and a misplay by me made it first and second with no outs. A double scored both the runners, but after that I was able to get out of the inning without another run scoring. After the first 2 innings, it was smooth sailing. I walked another batter, but that was the only baserunner to reach on me. My changeup was horrible today, as they crushed it literally everytime I threw it. After the 3rd inning i gave up on throwing it, but my fastball had great movement today and became my key pitch. My velocity was good in the beginning, but I felt like it slowed down in the late innings. Location was okay today, good enough where I could throw it on the corner, but bad enough where I wasn’t trying to throw it on the corner.
5 IP
4 H
4 K
3 BB
2 ER
-RM


#74

How’s the summer ball going?

Any good updates with training progress?


#75

Well I have only pitched twice since I have posted here, both on the same day. My team entered a tournament, and as usual we were shorthanded. We only had two real pitchers. The starter for our first game is usually a solid pitcher, but he struggled and we ended up getting mercied. Next game, our starter gets into a little trouble, and my coach brings me in. My control was pretty good, but our defense struggled all tournament and I end up pitching two innings with a lot of unearned runs. In the second game of our doubleheader, our starter doesn’t even get out of the first inning and I am asked to get out of the jam once again. My control was stellar, as I walked only 1 while facing about 18 batters in the inning. Bases were loaded when I came in, and the whole season our defense has struggled with the bases loaded. We try and rush to get the doubleplay yet we usually end up getting nobody. I end up eventually getting out of the inning through two strike outs, but only after the opposing team scored 10 off me, 13 in all. The opposing team only had 1 or 2 true hits. I am taken out after that inning. I pitched about 2 1/3 innings, had 3 strikeouts, and allowed a ton of unearned runs. All in all, a frustrating tournament, as we got mercied in all three games even though were better then 2 of those teams, if not all three.
My workouts have not given me the results that I want on the scale, but I have gotten a lot stronger. Hopefully I can gain at least 10-15 pounds before winter workouts for high school.
Also, something odd happened to me when I pitched in the second game. A ball was hit right back up the middle, but it bounced off the pitchers rubber and went about 15-20 feet in the air. I caught the ball. I thought I read somewhere that the bases and the rubber are not part of the ground, so if you catch it on the fly off of them it counts as an out. Does anybody know if this is the case? The runner was called safe.
-RM


#76

The plate is considered fair territory, nothing special about it. It would stand to reason the bases and rubber is the same. So, as soon as the batted ball hit the rubber it was in effect a ground ball, having made contact with the field in fair territory.
It’s sounds like your summer team is especially terrible. It can be frustrating. At least it sounds like the coach is not running up huge pitch counts because the fielders cannot field. Dealing with that stuff is good practice to maintain your focus. The bad part is it can change how you pitch. Just treat it like a live pen, have a specific area of focuses. Working the change up for strikes or whatever.
Better to get strong an add less weight than gain weight and get totally soft.
Even if you are a guy that has a hard time gaining weight it is simple match.
More healthy calories. 5,000 a day and you will gain weight.
Keep working.


#77

Pitched in two games this weekend. First game I came in relief, and my control was very good. I felt like I could put the ball within 4-5 inches from the target every time. My change-up was working really well, but I was pitching to a new catcher since I was subbing for my organizations other 16u team, so I didn’t have much of a chance to throw it. The team we played was very fast. The second batter got on base after i got the first out, and he promptly stole second and third, and eventually scored on a weak grounder when our first basemen couldn’t get the ball to home in time. I pitched into the next inning, but allowed a two out hit and was taken out.
1.2 IP
2 K
1 BB
2 H
1 ER
I pitched te next day after out starter had trouble in the first inning. I came in in the second inning with 2 on and 1 out. When I came in, I must have been a little dehydrated because I was seeing some dots and was having trouble focusing on the target. I walked the first guy I faced on 5 pitches, which was okay since he had hit one to the wall in his first at bat. Next batter I miss inside but he hits a lazy pop up to our cf, who throws the ball in and gets the tagging runner. Next inning, I feel much better, but allow a single, which gets by our lf and allows the batter to get to third base. He scores on a groundball. Then I get a quick 2 outs and an 0-2 count on the next batter. I throw my changeup even though It was horrible in warmups, and the hitter lines it for a single. I manage to get out of the inning. Next inning, again I get 2 quick outs but again a hanging changeup is lined for a single. I then hit the next guy. After that, I miss the inside target by maybe 3 or 4 inches, but the batter is right on top of the plate so he gets hit as well. I am taken out of the game, but my reliever strikes out the only guy he faces, and we win the game by 4.
2.1 IP
1 ER
2 H
1 BB
2 HBP
1 K
Overall, I walked/hit way to many batters for the amount of innings i threw, and I have to work on getting my changeup to be more consistent. I have realized that I must improve my curveball in the offseason, or else when I lose my changeup I will be stuck like I was in the second game. My velocity was there in the first game, and in the beginning of the second game. We lost in the tournament finals.
-RM


#78

Well I pitched yesterday for the first time since the beginning of the season. My team made the playoffs, which consists of a three game series, and then if you win that series you play another three game series for the championship. We lost the first game, so in order to stay alive we had to win yesterday. Coach called on me to pitch, which struck me as unusual since I only pitched that one time in the beginning of the season. During bullpen my control was awful.
First batter of the game I get down in a 3-1 count. The umpire gives me to generous strikes and the leadoff man strikes out. This is basically how it was all game. I had a no hitter going through four, but that was eventually broken up. The only inning where I had real trouble was in the 5th inning. I walk the second batter of the inning, but then give up two straight hits to load up the bases. The next batter grounds into a double play the very next pitch, and I get out of the inning. Double plays helped me a lot yesterday, as we turned three. Out of 103 pitches, I threw 45 balls. I got into way to many three ball counts, but I kept my walk total at a reasonable rate. I never faced more then five batters in an inning. My change-up was almost non existant today, so I had to rely almost totally on my fastball and curveball. I hadn’t throw a knuckle-curve very much in a game, but I would guess I threw it around 25 times. By the 6th inning, the skin near the bottom of my fingernail pulled away from my nail and I began to bleed a little. I am pretty sure this is normal, but I was just wondering how long it would take to be able to pitch again? Hopefully not any more then 2 or 3 days. There is no break in between playoff series, so if we win today I would probably pitch game two or game three of the championship series. My curveball was really effective in getting first pitch strikes, but since I didn’t have my change-up today, I did not get many strikeouts.

7 IP
4 H
4 BB
4 K
0 ER

this puts my season total at:
12 IP
8 H
7 BB
8 K
2 ER
1.17 ERA


#79

Pitches today for the first time in a while. I did switch teams this fall. This team does a lot more tournaments and plays against better competition. Fall ball for us is a double header on sunday morning. I pitched two innings in the first game. My ball was moving a lot today, especially my fastball. I had some trouble with throwing the ball way outside, but overall my control was pretty good. The other team was not very good, but by no means horrible, so it felt good to do well.
2 IP
2 K
1 BB
1 H
Trying to really keep my walks down this fall, im hoping to keep it below 2 per 7 IP. I tried to use superglue on my finger, but it wore off about halfway through, so i felt a little discomfort, but nothing big. I am throwing a bullpen every wednesday at practice, and about 2 innings every sunday, so I hope to improve my control a lot. My offspeed wasn’t really working that well today, but my fastball was moving enough where I could get away with throwing it 90% of the time. I have a video testing day next saturday, so I will try and get that video and post it here.
I have also been regularly working out in the morning for about 4 weeks now, 5 days a week. I have gained probably about 3-4 pounds and 10 pounds on my squat. Im really gonna try and work on getting my lower body more involved in my motion this winter.
-RM


#80

I pitched three times this weekend. Came in in the last inning in all three of the games we played. First game was against a so-so opponent, but it was still a close game (3-2). I got them to go 3 up and 3 down and we won the game.

Next game was played at Mizzou’s field, and we were playing one of the best teams in St. Louis. They were a year below me, but were still a very good team. I came in with a 4-1 lead, and the first batter promptly hit a single to lf. The next guy grounded out to second, but our second basemen threw the ball away so it was now 2nd and 3rd with 0 outs. I struck out the next guy on a changeup and then threw a wild pitch to the next batter. The batter eventually flew out to shallow center. I suddenly lost my control and walked the next guy on 4 straight pitches. with the tying run on second base, i got the next guy to ground out to short, and we won the game 4-2.
Next game I cam in with a 5-2 lead (against the best team in Springfield), and got in a little trouble again. The first guy hit a weak grounder that was placed perfectly in between short and third. Next batter hit a shallow fly ball to right field that was also well placed. The next guy hit a comebacker right to me, and I threw it to third to get the lead runner. The next batter hit a liner to short stop that was caught, and the runner at second was doubled off to give me my third save of the weekend. I had good control this weekend, and it was very fun to pitch on Mizzou’s field. My velocity felt good the second, and just okay the first and third.

Since my last video, my arm slot has dropped pretty dramatically. It just happened naturally, and I noticed when my dad showed me a video of me pitching tonight. It is similar to Randy Choate’s arm slot.

I have been keeping up with my workouts, and I am now at 152 pounds, hoping to be at 160 by the start of the high school season.

STATS:
3 IP
3 H
2 K’s
1 BB
1 ER
3 SAVES

-RM