Slumps


#1

sometimes in a game i get the batter 0-2 and throw a great slider and the batter swings for the fences and misses misserably. I get to excited and start walking people


#2

Whoa Nellie!!!
You get so excited about a strikeout that your adrenaline goes into super-warp drive and suddenly you lose control and end up walking the ballpark? That’s no slump; that’s just letting everything get away from you. What you need to do is stop for a minute or so…call time…go to the rosin bag and futz around with it. Let me tell you about what the great Yankee pitcher Lefty Gomez once did during a World Series—I think it was 1938.
It was the eighth inning and El Goofy was in trouble. There were runners on second and third—scoring position—with two out, and the count on the batter was 3-and-1. Suddenly Gomez called time and stepped off the rubber; a small plane had come into view, and the pilot started doing loops and rolls and all the things stunt fliers will do, and the pitcher was thoroughly entranced by the spectacle, so he stood there and watched. For about fifteen minutes the pilot did his thing in the air, and then, with a final dip of his wings, he flew out of sight. Gomez, by now completely relaxed, returned to the mound, fired the next two pitches in there for strikes and retired the side unscored on.
Some years later Ed Lopat, one of the Yankees’ legendary Big Three pitching rotation, found himself in a similar spot. He called time, stepped off the mound, went to the dugout for a gulp of water, went to the rosin bag and messed around with it, then got back on the mound and retired the next two batters and got out of the inning unscored on.
These are just a couple of examples of what a pitcher in a tight spot can do to refocus himself. No doubt there are other things you can do to stop the rush of adrenaline from getting in your way. Now I tell you—you threw a great slider, right? That was your confirmation of just how great a pitch you have. So what you want to do is make the most of it. If you see that the batters can’t hit your slider to save themselves (as what happened to Joe DiMaggio and Stan Musial in their later years), go ahead, give them the slider. Give them an overdose of it. And complete the game. :slight_smile: 8) :baseballpitcher: