C.C., Thor, and 3 Pitching Goals for This Year

March 22, 2018

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The past week saw 2 great articles on 2 New York pitchers, C.C. Sabathia and Noah Syndergaard.

A March 14th article in the NY Daily News:

CC Title

Highlighted CC Sabathia's transformation from someone who didn't care about pitching:

"I didn't give a sh** about sequences. You were gonna get...just the fastball and slider."

to someone who is now ALL about pitching:

“…both Sabathia and the Yankees are fully comfortable with the alterations he has made both physically and mentally in recent seasons to transform himself from the consummate power pitcher early in his career to a so-called crafty lefty…”

2 different encounters with one of our generation's greatest hitters, Miguel Cabrera, were highlighted:

“…during Cabrera’s initial at-bat in the first inning, Sabathia set him up with a two-seam fastball and a cutter before getting Cabrera to roll over on a changeup for a ground out to shortstop. The next time, Sabathia offered a different combo, and got Cabrera to bounce to second."

If you noticed, NEITHER at-bat ended in a strikeout. Sabathia didn’t care about striking out Cabrera, he just cared about just getting him out!

4 days later, Thor was the topic of conversation:

Thor Title

and it wasn't about how many hitters he was striking out, but how he was letting the hitters get themselves out:

“I just tried to throw it where I wanted and if they it in play that’s their own doing, that’s save me bullets. It allows me to go deeper in games. So I just play off their aggressiveness.”

The Mets new coach Mickey Calloway was loving this 'new' Thor:

“He’s not just trying to blow everybody away. He’s using his pitches really well. It’s outstanding. He’s pitching.”

With this in mind, here are 3 pitching goals you should aim for this year:

1) 60% first-pitch strikes. Tom Seaver once said:

"The most important pitch in baseball is Strike One."

To make the most out of all the pitches you throw, you MUST get ahead of the hitter.

2) 55% overall strikes. I discovered this several years ago when I was analyzing pitching statistics and noticed that winning pitchers almost ALWAYS threw at least 55% of their pitches for strikes, whereas losing pitchers were frequently 49-52% overall strikes.

3) Averaging 12-15 pitches per inning. Just as Thor is now letting the hitters' aggressiveness let him go deeper into games, you can do this by PITCHING TO CONTACT.

If you can average 12-15 pitches per inning, that's what you'll be doing.

Questions About This Newsletter?

Contact (PitchingDoc@msn.com / 631-352-7654) Dr. Arnold!