Tournament pitching sequence

Your team has a LL single elimination tournament. Do you start your best pitcher to make sure you make it thru the 1st game so you can play in the 2nd or do you change pitchers, keep their pitch counts low so you can have those better pitchers for the next game and future games as long as you continue to advance? There are no days off between games, they follow one right after the other. What’s your thoughts!

Go with your #1 starter.
I don’t know whether you remember the 1960 World Series, but that one was a disaster for the Yankees, leading to the ignominious firing of manager Casey Stengel. Ol’ Case decided to start his #3 pitcher, Art Ditmar, in the opener in Pittsburgh because he wanted to save his ace Whitey Ford for the third game which would be played in Yankee Stadium. And he screwed the pooch big time. If he had used his head instead of his whatever and started Ford in the opener, the Yankees would probably have won the game, and Whitey would have been available for Game Four and, if needed, Game Seven—and the outcome might have been entirely different.
And all Stengel had to say was that he would never make the mistake of being seventy years old again! So—start your best pitcher in that first game and trust him to go all the way, whatever that is, and win—and take it from there. Win that first one, you’ve got a leg up. :baseballpitcher:

Depends on things like the depth of your pitching staff, the strength or weakness of your opponents, strength of your offense, etc. Also, understand that in youth baseball things often do not go as planned.

Here’s something that you might consider beyond your starter question.
IF – your pitching staff is well balanced with talent, without major gaps in
IF- you pitching staff is healthy going into this event and you are positive
that each pitcher’s endurance and quality is 90% dependable.

Match the pitcher to the batting order that you club is about to face.

Do this by:
-prior experience with each club’s tendencies
-observe the opposing club for height and body build,
Who looks like a power hitter… usually 3, 4 and sometimes 5
in the batting order… then keep the ball away down and inside
or down and away
-don’t expect your pitching staff to carry the entire game alone
-depend on your fielding just as heavily as you do your pitching
-going into the bottom of the batting order (7,8,9) give every pitcher
a breather by having him pitch BP at least once, as long as you’re
not facing a DH sandwiched in between 7, 8, 9, thus, let your
outfield plays catch-a-fly while your infield plays small-ball
-have every pitcher on your pitching staff work quickly on the mound,
don’t let him waste time thinking about his work that day
-match catchers and pitchers carefully and talk to your catcher
every time he comes into the dugout.

Best wishes in the event

Thank you all so much for your valuable wealth of information. We ended up using our #1 pitcher for the 1st game, of which we won. For the 2nd game we went with a lower ranked pitcher who really surprised us & threw a great game (6 & 3/4 innings). We brought in another pitcher to finish out the game. And though the results weren’t what we wanted as we held the lead thru the entire game until the 3rd out in the final 7th inning, it was sill a great game. We unfortunately won’t be moving to the championship round and we can run thru all the what ifs and why not’s, but we had a great season and had a pleasure working with a great bunch of kids. It takes a team to win and a team to loose. Thanks again for everyone’s reply and feedback. :lol:


As I read your final posting and comments, I couldn’t help but think to myself… "now there’s a youth coach, there’s someone who understands competition on the one hand, and reasonability on the other.

Those youngsters that you coach and represent will take your memory with them wherever they go. A little of you is now part of them. Nice, coach, very nice.


When ever I see or hear of a coach with the kind of outlook that you have, it prompted me to write a poem. I called it “you’ll Live Forever Coach

You’ll Live on Forever Coach

As a coach you pass on the magic ball,
of a game that’s played by the tall and small.
Knowledge of a game that we constantly rehearse,
like reminding all to take that turn at first.

And then there’s fielding and catching the hit,
soft hands for the short and a nimble mitt.
Then there’s the toss as easy as could be,
in a scorekeeper’s book - one to two, then six to three.

We watch them grow and move along,
upward in levels, like a new day’s dawn.
A little of you has gone with each kid,
a little of you, that will forever live.

Your smile and words, of this or that,
a simple gesture and a tip of your cap.
Good words of support, your wisdom is heard,
by those that go on, never to return.

It’s a life you’ve lived, of bat and glove,
giving freely your knowledge of the game you love.
A new generation will enjoy this day,
a game of ball, because you came their way.

It’s a rewarding life this job we do,
rewards of pride and friendship to.
But the most rewarding is you’ll carry over,
is with those you coached,
you’ll live on forever

I am the wife of the coach (my husbands thoughts are just the same) … my husband has coached our son since he was 6 years old … he is now 13 (my son is a pitcher, the #1 pitcher in his age group in our league). We’ve always had this on going struggle (aka hubby coach and wife discussion) about, whenever we come in to play offs or district play, how to handle the pitching. So I did some searching and I came across this GREAT site. I wanted to get someone else’s opinion and see how other leagues/coaches do it. So again, thank you for all your kind words. And, I shared the poem with my hubby and his assistant coaches. And by the way, the team we lost to, went undefeated all season and won the tournament. My son spoke to a few of the other kids on the team that we lost to and they said we were the hardest team they faced all season, the only team that got a head of them and made them fight for the win.

It made me a little teary eyed with what you all posted, cause I think this might be my hubby’s last year. My son has played a full year of middle school ball, will be moving to high school next year and is currently playing Junior Legion; my hubby doesn’t coach either of those. This time in these childrens lives that instruction or any constructive criticism is hard to give … as you know a teen knows everything and there needs to be a time to “let them go.” So your sentiments of how my hubby has coached and that I have watched for all these years pulled on a few heart strings. I will continue to follow this site and tbese boards. I can always use a few helpful tips for my son an aspiring baseball player, just like many on here who have hopes and dreams and we as parents, coaches and volunteers help them shoot for these dreams and give them the opportunity to do so. Thanks again for your support! Sincerely ~~~ JAM810

I know what I am about to say is considered verboten but here goes anyway. Few ten year olds are able to grip the ball in a manner that allows any speed reduction because, as oc2viking indicated, the hand is too small.

We don’t forbid opinon here 8) I happen to agree that spending time on a change early is wasted effort, I also cringe when I hear about working on cutters, sinkers and true sliders before they get out of puberty as I consider these pitches to be “finer points” pitches that require strength, dexterity and 60’6" to throw effectively.