When your coach is about to pull you

Do you ever tell him, “I can do it coach” or “I still got juice in the tank” or “my arm’s fine, let me pitch”?

Last game I pitched, I did it. I had a lot of guts saying that, but my coach trusted me.

And from there, I pitched two more innings, let no one in, and struck 4 guys out.

We still lost the game, but at the end of the game, the coach told me I did had a quality start.

I told my coach that all the time, but solely because I didn’t trust many of our other pitchers above me. He pulled me anyway cause he knew my arm hurt when I pitched too long, though. I was dumb then.

It’s always a tricky situation—when the coach or manager is about to take you out of the game. One has to stop and ask, why? Is it because he senses you’re tiring—or has your pitch limit been reached—or is he thinking of just getting someone else in there because he wants to use a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the inning—or is he just being Mr. Know-it-all? The circumstances vary widely.
Sometimes it’s because the catcher sees something that isn’t quite right. Or perhaps it’s an infielder. I remember a game in which Vic Raschi was pitching for the Yankees, and he himself indicated that he was running out of steam; he stepped off the mound and looked over toward third base. When Bobby Brown went over to talk to him, Raschi, who was usually a guy who would stay in there and give it something extra, asked him plaintively “Where have you BEEN?” Brown knew immediately something was amiss and signaled to the Yankee manager who alerted the bullpen to get up and start throwing. In came Joe Page, and he got the last couple of outs, and he saved the game.
And there was the time when Preacher Roe was pitching, and he was obviously losing it. His manager came out to talk to him and ask how he was feeling. Roe replied, in that slow drawl of his, “We-e-e-l-l…I ain’t got no pain…I ain’t got no fatigue…and by golly, I ain’t got a thing on the ball!” So the manager took him out of the game; he had to, because Roe obviously didn’t have it any more, and he was honest enough to admit it.
It’s often touch-and-go when a pitcher has a limit, say 105, 110 pitches, and that’s where the trouble begins. Sometimes he’ll insist that he can go one more inning—remember Pedro Martinez, who begged to be allowed to pitch one more inning? The Red Sox manager reluctantly gave in and allowed Martinez to go one more—and the Yankees creamed him. But at other times the manager will stick to his guns and insist that the pitcher has had enough for the day (or night) and take him out and bring in a reliever. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. But that’s the chance the manager has to take, especially in a close game.
Apparently your coach, or manager, or whoever, saw something that told him that you were losing it and then was the time to get you off the mound. 8)

That won’t fly at the college or pro level.

I was an assistant for a few years and I had the pleasure of watching a true pro in action. He had a way of walking to the mound and taking the ball from a pitcher - which by the way, was a difficult thing to do.

Pitchers will try to talk you out of it. Their winners, and winners always want the ball - always.

So, during my first season with the man, I’d watch him go to bump, a second or two later, coming off the rubber was one pitcher while running in from the pen was another. No conversations, no waiting, nothing.

But what surpirsed me, was the expression on the faces of the pitchers coming in. They all had this smirk on their face.

Finally, I couldn’t stand the suspense any more. I made my way over to one man that was sent in, and while wiping his face with a trainer’s towel I asked him what was the smirk on his face for - he was just yanked out of an inning.

Here’s how this coach did it:
He’d walk out to the mound, climb the bump, stretch out his hand and extend his index finger, then he’d look at the pitcher and say… " go ahead, pull my finger." :blush:

Enough said, the guy was gone. It also broke the tension. In fact, later in my career, I use to use it. It worked like a charm.

Coach B.