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Getting 2 strikes but finishing with a Walk

obbay

Banned
Aug 21, 2008
2,201
0
Boston, MA
We have a 13 - 14 yo pitcher with fantastic speed, but she has trouble closing the deal. Yesterday she won our game, giving up no hits but allowing 4 unearned runs through BBs. a few batters were able to touch the ball with the bat but at best those wound up as opposite field fouls.

She has no problem getting 2 strikes on every batter, usually in the first 3 pitches (first pitch is always a called strike) but then the next pitch is way high and the rest of the pitches seem to wander around outside the strikezone. Some are borderline WPs.

Not being a pitching coach myself, I'm asking for your ideas/opinions on how she can address this problem. I'm thinking it's a focus issue. When I talked to her she never appeared uncomfortable, so I didn't think it was nerves. She has a pitching coach and I'm thinking she can maybe help her but it would be good if the other coach and I knew how best to approach this.

Thank you.
 

halskinner

Banned
May 7, 2008
2,695
0
We have a 13 - 14 yo pitcher with fantastic speed, but she has trouble closing the deal. Yesterday she won our game, giving up no hits but allowing 4 unearned runs through BBs. a few batters were able to touch the ball with the bat but at best those wound up as opposite field fouls.

She has no problem getting 2 strikes on every batter, usually in the first 3 pitches (first pitch is always a called strike) but then the next pitch is way high and the rest of the pitches seem to wander around outside the strikezone. Some are borderline WPs.

Not being a pitching coach myself, I'm asking for your ideas/opinions on how she can address this problem. I'm thinking it's a focus issue. When I talked to her she never appeared uncomfortable, so I didn't think it was nerves. She has a pitching coach and I'm thinking she can maybe help her but it would be good if the other coach and I knew how best to approach this.

Thank you.
Your description is painting a very clear picture in my mind. It sounds like she starts off with a couple different pitches she has control of and is trying to get the K pitch with one or two she is still learning. It also sounds like she is setting a very obvious pattern they are picking up on.

Which pitches is she throwing that aree working and which ones are not? That's what you need to ask.

Next, is the catcher calling for pitches to the inside when she starts getting wild? Is she afraid of hitting the batter?

Lots of questions to be asked here.

Hal
 

obbay

Banned
Aug 21, 2008
2,201
0
Boston, MA
I see what you mean, Hal. I believe her issue is that she is having trouble throwing the same pitch more than once per batter. Her strength is the Fastball, but I believe with 2 strikes on the batter, she can't make the fastball go where she wants it.

I discussed this with the other coach and he saw it as when they got 3 balls on them that they were able to at least foul off the strikes until she missed with ball 4. I don't remember seeing more than one, maybe 2 fouls from a single at bat.
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,851
63
Dallas, Texas
So, if your shortstop kept letting grounders go through her legs or if the right fielder kept dropping balls, you would leave them in the game right?

A coach has no ability to fix a pitcher. Pitchers are taught by pitching coaches and parents. All you can do as a coach is to indicate whether her pitching is adequate. Then, it is up to her, her pitching coach and her parent (usually a dad) to fix it.

Fixing this is so simple, and yet most coaches refuse to do it.

If you want her to walk less batters, tell her that she stays in the game until she walks two batters. Then pull her when she walks two. If the next pitcher gets hammered, so be it. She and her dad will get the message, and they will figure out how to decrease the number of walks.

It sounds cruel, but it isn't. You are, in fact, doing her more harm than good by leaving her in the game. You are insulating her from the fact that she isn't a very good pitcher. You aren't demanding anything else from her, so she isn't improving.
 
May 22, 2008
351
0
NW Pennsylvania
If I am playing a team that cant defend the bunt- I will bunt every girl in the order till they prove to me they can defend it.....

I know this may not work against the next team. But if I am playing a team that can not put the bat on the ball solid, not ever. I am calling for fast balls down the middle every single pitch till they prove that they can hit one. Then if we are sitting on a big lead & confidence factor is high, I would be calling corners & off speed & movement pitches. JMO
 
Feb 14, 2009
23
0
I agree with hal . but it seem like she haven't master the fast to polint that she can throw it anywhere she want to . what other pitchers do she throw?
 
Jul 14, 2008
1,724
38
We have a 13 - 14 yo pitcher with fantastic speed, but she has trouble closing the deal.
Pretty common problem with young hard throwing pitchers.......

obbay said:
She has no problem getting 2 strikes on every batter, usually in the first 3 pitches (first pitch is always a called strike)
Her comfort level with the 0-0 count allows her to "bring it" without anxiety.

obbay said:
but then the next pitch is way high and the rest of the pitches seem to wander around outside the strikezone. Some are borderline WPs.
The 2 strike pitch that's way high is likely an "over-thrown" strike out pitch........Common with young pitchers with good velocity.......

When that pitch fails, she likely "backs down" and begins to guide the ball, slowing her arm speed sub-conciously. When this happens with a young "heater", the snap occurs early and things begin to float outside......

The loss in velocity also allows the hitters who are already cutting their swings down with 2 strikes to "make contact" and foul some off until she misses.....

obbay said:
Not being a pitching coach myself, I'm asking for your ideas/opinions on how she can address this problem. I'm thinking it's a focus issue. When I talked to her she never appeared uncomfortable, so I didn't think it was nerves. She has a pitching coach and I'm thinking she can maybe help her but it would be good if the other coach and I knew how best to approach this.

Thank you.
It isn't a "lack of focus" issue.......It's an "over-focus" issue.........

Over-throwing the "K" pitch sets up the pattern......

Some mental coaching that deals with "not" over-focusing on the "K" pitch is probably in order........

Bottom line #1........She needs an effective change up that can be thrown with one strike, or two strikes........Mixing it between these 2 counts so the pattern can't be picked........

Bottom line #2.......She needs to be told to "swing it and bring it" without fear of the walking or hitting the batter..........

Bottom line #3.......She just needs to mature a little, and feel confident with her ability to "let-r-fly" no matter what the count is...........:)
 

obbay

Banned
Aug 21, 2008
2,201
0
Boston, MA
Thanks B.M! -that sounds like something we can work with! The Change up is something she's been working on but hasn't really got it down yet. Definitely something to work on. I think you know our issue exactly and your suggestions sound spot on.
Thank you!
 

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