Toeing the Rubber


Thanks for all the responses and insight. Very helpful.
I started yesterday’s game against one of the better teams in my area. The coach lets me face the better teams, but we haven’t won a game yet - even against the weaker teams. He said before the season started that we weren’t going to be worried about wins and losses. I like the challenge.
I pitched well enough to win yesterday (my opinion). I gave up 3 hits in 4 innings with 5 Ks and 1 walk. The defense had 5 errors - all grounders. Their pitcher was a former teammate on a travel team - so it was good to meet up again. He was our best player and he is his high school teams best too.
We were trailing 3 - 2 in the bottom of the 4th and I struck out their first two batters. I was feeling good. The next batter managed to get his bat on a low and away 1 - 2 fastball and hit it to 2nd, and it rolled between his legs. The next batter chopped at an inside high fastball that bounced off the 3rd baseman’s glove. The next batter was my old teammate. He turned on a high and tight fastball and dropped it into the hillside over the 340 foot left field fence. That made it 6 - 2. The next batter popped out. That was the limit on my pitch count so I was done for the day. Our next pitcher gave up 6 runs without recording an out and that mercy ruled us at 12 - 2. After pitching, I went in to play short. The base umpire stopped me and told me that I was pitching with an ilegal delivery. He said I had to start each pitch with both feet on the rubber. I’vr been pitching from the left side of the rubber with my right foot touching. I had never heard of that. I told my dad after the gamr and he said the ump needs to back to umpire. school.


Hey Drake,
Sounds like you were pitching well. Its hard to overcome consistently bad defense. Feel good about your effort.
The rule, from little league through MLB is one foot needs to be in contact with the rubber. This is the kind of ump we get a lot around here. Probably not very experienced and thats ok. The problem is passing along bad information because of his lack of experience.
Not exactly the kind of guy I trust calling a curve ball well.


First, as @fearsomefour said, that is not illegal. Second, if he thought it was illegal, he should have brought it up during the game. Since he didn’t, I bet he’s not even sure. It’s called your free foot for a reason.

It sounds like you enjoy pitching, and as long as your coach is supportive of your development, you should have a good time on that team.

LOL. :blush:


ok I admit that was a cheap shot.


I thought how can you pitch from the stretch with 2 feet on the rubber? I told the coach and he said that’s the kind of umps we get - ones that don’t know the rules.
I’m supposed to start in a tournament this weekend. It should be a fun trip.
The coaches give me lots of encouragement - especially after my defense comes up short. I know I can control. what I can control and the rest is out of my hands. My dad and I talk about that. He says that I’ve been given the opportunity to pitch on a varsity level against decent competition. Its up to me to make the most of it.


We just finished our 2nd game of the tournament and WE WON, 12 - 5! I pitched a complete 7 inning game. I gave up 4 hits, walked1, and struck out 7. My first victory as a varsity pitcher! Our coach is taking us out to dinner and we’re just pulling in to the restaurant’s parking lot - so I gotta go!


First win of many
Good job.


Thanks! I actually gave up 6 hits and had 9 Ks, Posting right after the game, I lost count. Lol.


I got another start last night against an undefeated and best team in the area. I had an easy 3up 3 down inning. The next inning started off with a leadoff walk who eventually scored, so we were down 1 - 0 after 2. The umpire had a miniature strike zone - between the belt and knees and the center of the plate. I got no calls on the corners and my curve was never once called for a strike. He was the worst umpire ever. Him and his partner stopped me before the game and said I had to change my pre-pitch stance. I use the same stance as T I’m Lincecum. They said something about only being able to do that from the stretch. My coach said they were nuts but I had to alter my delivery to satisfy them. Anyway I walk 2 more in the 3rd and two errors later, 2 runs score. The 4 th inning was about the same but we managed to rally back to 7 - 3at the end of 4. I didn’t start the 5th. The reliever got tagged in between walking people. We end up giving up 10 runs in the top of 7 and losing 20 - 4. It got ugly. I was mad. I didn’t want to talk to anyone after the game. I can’t believe we get such bad unpiribg. Maybe that’s why this team was undefeated. They are a city rival of ours and I wanted to beat them so bad. My dad said it’s hard to win when it’s 9 against their 11.


I don’t have a video of me but this is exactly what I’m doing that they say is illegal - starting my delivery with my foot in front of the rubber Here is Trevor Bauer doing exactly what I’m doing:


Bad umpiring with regard to balls and strikes is a fact you will have to overcome at every level. Although Trevor’s position is legal according to MLB rules, it is illegal in many high school districts. I don’t know the rules in your area but in many areas it is required that the non pivot foot be on or behind a line extending from the front edge of the pitcher’s plate. The umpires were kind enough to let you know before the game how they call it and not just hit you with a balk when the game started.

You are a good player. Remember to control what you can control and to adapt when you have to. Bad umps and bad mounds are part of the game that you have to deal with, but you can do it if you stay emotionally even and set your mind to overcome.

Good luck,



Well said Ted.


Me, I year after joining this site:
Age: 15
Height: 5’ 11 1/2"
Weight: 134
Currently playing varsity baseball as the #1 pitcher on my hs team.
Pitches: 4 seam; 2 seam; knuckle curve; and circle change.
Have never been clocked but coach thinks my fastball is in the low 80s.

My goals haven’t changed.


Drake, here is a good explanation of the HS balk rules re feet position in the windup and stretch:


Excellent find, Thx for sharing this link!



High 70’s low 80’s is good velocity for your age/height and weight. Keep up with your sleep and nutrition and of course stay away from the girls. :wink:

Good luck,



Thanks Ted. I’m pitching in a few minutes. It’s cold and windy and I’m facing the same team that was unbeaten. They lost in extra innings early in the week. I’m going try to bust them inside and work the outside corner with my curve. Any other advice?


I guess your game is done since it is 6h after your post. I hope your plan went well. Let us know.

Best regards,



Another night with a tight strike zone. I could not buy a called strike. And my coach said he thinks my curve ball fooled the umpire. I threw a 3-2 curve to the first batter of the night. It broke right down the middle of the plate. . . for ball 4. My coach asked him where it was and the unp ignored him. I then catch the same guy leaning off first base and had him picked off . . .but the base umpire called him safe. That’s how the game started and it never got any better. This team plays on an infield that was once the school’s parking lot. It’s like concrete with sand sprnkled on it. Ground balls bounce hard and fast so we had our usual number of errors. But they must have had 6 swinging bunts. RThree of them rolled down the third base line staying about 3 inches fair. They never rolled foul because the infield is perfectly flat. I think 3 balls left the infield against me. I left the game after 3 innings down 13 - 2. I ended up walking 4 batters which is not me. I was never off the plate more than 4 inches in any direction, but I never got a single close pitch. I struck out 4 or 5, which in itself is amazing. If I was facing me, I would never swing. All were swinging strikes. My curve ball had a couple of their best hitters swinging at air. It got too deep a couple times and they were able to fight it off to stay alive. If I can get it to die right in front of the plate, the batter is usually swinging at a ball in the dirt.
I don’t feel terrible. That team has 9 good hitters and they managed to put the ball in play, so a tip of the cap to them. I think I was throwing harder than ever and was throwing the ball where I wanted it to go. It just wasn’t my day. I think the final score was 22 - 2. Mercy ruled after 5. I left after 3 and then played short. I hadn’t played on this field before and it was a tough infield , when you’re used to grass. I managed to contribute an error of my own. Lol. We play again tomorrow against another good team. . . with another dirt infield that’s not as hard. I’ll be at short. I’m scheduled to pitch twice next week - Tues and Sat. So, we will get after them then.


There are those days when it seems everything conspires against you…errors, a bad call or two, a ball that just stays fair or just goes foul, no run support ect. But, you found some positives about your performance. Evaluate and move forward.
The worst high school team in the town I live is 0-16 and has been outscored on the season 222-12.
An average score of 13.9-0.7. Yesterday may have been a rare occurrence for you guys, that is every game for these guys…could be worse.
Keep fighting.