Season started/need help (if possible)

Hi all once again.

Well, our season started yesterday down here in Finland. Our team got the win over the Pumas after a rather erratic game. It lasted almost 4 hours, there were few tosses out of the game by our beloved amateur umpires, and we had some rain to mix it up a bit :wink:

I got the “Opening Day” start from our team. I came to the game straight after a 10 hour shift at the airport and only about 20 minutes of break in the morning. I had to wake up 4:30 am to go to work and it evetually got up to me.
The first inning went perfectly. I had trained overhand delivery the whole winter, but in our few exhibition games we had in the previous weeks my control seemed to disappear when entering the game. So, only a week or so ago I tried a sidearm/semi-submarine armslot (my old one) and the results were amazing. I got atleast 50% more accuracy, I felt like I was using less energy and with a sinker I was able to pitch for contact, thus saving more my arm. So last week I nullified the overhand and decided to go with the new old armslot.

As I said, the first inning went great. They got only one lucky bloop single, and reached the base by error of our defense, but no scored runs and I felt great, enhanced even more by an inning-ending strikeout with a newly discovered, 65 or so mph changeup, which wasn’t even on my repertoire few weeks ago.
We got few runs in the bottom of the first, giving me some room to breathe and I walked to the mound to start the 2nd inning with confidence and feeling great. But then everything fell apart.
7 runs (no idea how many earned), hit by pitch, many BB’s and one out later I saw myself being switched to the outfield. I totally lost my control… and by totally I really mean totally. I threw only few balls in the first inning, but in the second I threw only few strikes :shock: Despite not missing by much, I still missed few decisive inches in every pitch, and the weirdest thing is that I have no explanation at all… I have never seen/experienced such a breakdown in my whole life.

Well, the game went on, both teams scored runs here and there, the guy who relieved me got tossed out of the game, we had to use our closer to pitch after the 2nd inning, and we eventually broke the game wide open in the bottom of the 8th, taking a 8 run lead and we finished the game by winning 19-13.

Well, the funniest thing is that after our closer came out of the game after the 6th inning, I found myself pitching again, but now overhand and throwing only fastballs :? In the final 3 IP I had 3-4 K’s, only one or two BB’s, and allowed only few runs with the help of few throwing errors.

It was clearly the weirdest experience I’ve had so far on the baseball field. First I shine, a half-inning later I can’t possibly scuk more, and then in the end of the game I pitch again with a totally different armslot. Well, I just hope it never happens again…

What I’d like is to hear your thoughts on what could have happened, and if you or somebody else you know has experienced the same, how he/she fixed/went trough all of that. I guess there’s no right or wrong answers, so just feel free to comment/analyze or anything in between.

  • Antonio

Changing arm slots can greatly mess up your control. Changing from truly “up on top” to sidearm is a huge adjustment.

From straight over, your fastball will not sink-it may fade either way but will not sink. Your curve will drop almost straight down. When throwing sidearm you fastball should sink a great deal, but your curve will not drop mush at all.

Best advice-pick a 3/4 arm slot and 3 pitches to master ( see Steve’s article on 3 pitches being enough), and practice!

If you want to throw from overhand realize that your curve’s release point will be very tricky until you master it. Your change up will not have much movement either. Is a fork ball an antotomical possibility for you?

Ian

Yuh it is and it is actually my 3rd best pitch after a 4-seamer and slider when throwing overhand. I got also a curve with good movement, but no control so good that I could use it more than occasionally. I also throw a cutter.

From sidearm/submarine I got a good sinking 2-seamer, 10-4 slider and a nasty splitter-like changeup when it works. My forkball tends to slip too much to the right when throwing sidearm so I use the changeup only for the offspeed instead.

I agree that changing the armslot can mess up everything. I just got surprised because when I tried it it worked like a miracle. I got easy grounders and like I said, I had a much better control than when throwing overhand. And it worked perfectly for the first inning, but it just vanished totally entering the second.

I have decided to go overhand for now, but the problem is that I’d love to pitch for contact instead. When throwing overhand it’s very rare to get an one-pitch out, because my fastball is very true and I end up going for strikeouts instead of getting those sinking 2-seamers into the corners for grounders when I throw sidearm.

I guess I’ll just keep trying and learning, and maybe even decide the armslot depending on what works that day. All in all I don’t have such a big difference in efficiency. Sometimes overhand just won’t work, and somedays it does. But I won’t probably go El Duque and change armslots in every pitch :wink:

The next event will be the Baltic Open with the national team in Sweden 21-26.5. I hope that I get everything clicking by then and pitch my first international “W” 8)