MLB Pitcher Jamie Moyer talks with the Irish baseball team.
Work hard, get better every day and keep a notebook to document your progress.
The timing of this lesson, it turns out, was rather apt. All my life, I've been the equivalent of a fastball pitcher—trying to use blazing speed and brute force to wow the people I face. Lately I've been realizing that it would help if I knew how to change speeds from time to time, to be less predictable.
We got to work. My first few attempts at a change-up were wobbly. I had no control, no feel for the pitch in my fingertips. Worse, I began to think about how I had no feel. I began to think how ridiculous I must look, a clueless amateur. Bryan could see a dozen things wrong with my delivery: arm slot too low, hips not turned enough, follow-through too unbalanced, and on and on. But he chose to home in on one thing only: "Keep your head quiet," he said.
This meant making sure I held my head steady and square as I pitched, so my eyes would remain fixed on the target. It also meant not overloading my brain with anxiety and data. A quiet head in the psychological sense is hard to achieve. Bryan got me there by emphasizing a quiet head in the physical sense. By worrying only about keeping my gaze steady and my skull centered, I stopped overthinking.
source:How I Learned to Pitch by Eric Liu
Slate.com - Jan 13, 2005
It's often said that the stretch costs a pitcher 2-3 miles an hour off his fastball, and (considering how easy that is to check) I'll assume that's roughly accurate. (Rob Neyer)It is very easy to check, and it turns out that it's not accurate at all. A pitcher's fastball speed turns out to be almost identical with runners on base as compared to his average fastball speed with the bases empty. If anything, the average starting pitcher throws about 0.1 mph harder with runners on base.
|Steve Boyle for ESPN Magazine|
Ryan Perez has become a spectacle for fans and scouts to witness at Westminster Christian, a school of 350 students in Chicago's suburbs. Perez can throw a fastball, changeup, cutter and curveball with both arms, and he's been clocked at 90 mph right-handed and 87 mph left-handed.
Perez's two arms have been no match for the local competition this season. He has a 9-1 record with a 1.56 ERA and 131 strikeouts in 63 innings this season. He's pitched predominately left-handed (44 innings) because he also plays at shortstop and third base right-handed when he's not on the mound.
(source: Scott Powers,