Phils Prospect Explains His Pitching Strategy

This is a fantastic post over at PhuturePhillies. It’s Philadeplphia pitching prospect Michael Schwimer recounting, pitch by pitch, a two-inning relief appearance he made a week ago. He’s honest and talks not only about what he’s trying to do, but why he’s trying to do it.

“PITCH 1: Thought process… trying to throw a sinking fastball on the inside corner to induce a weak ground ball to the right side to get a double play. If I miss, I want to miss in off the plate. I would rather throw a ball off the inside of the plate than leave something over the middle that he can hit for a double. Result… I leave it right over the middle of the plate, but because the pitch had good angle and run he hits a hard ground ball just out of the diving reach of our second baseman. Our right fielder was playing in, so he got the ball in a hurry, which made the 3rd base coach put up the stop sign. Bases loaded 0 outs.”

He actually faced former Orioles Adam Loewen in the game, striking him out on three pitches.  The Loewen at bat is described below, but I highly recommend everyone check out the full post, since it’s a very interesting read.

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“Adam Loewan steps in. He is a left handed hitter with a long swing that covers the plate well. For those of you who are wondering, it is the same Adam Loewan that was a first round pick and pitched for the Baltimore Orioles before injuring his throwing shoulder. He is now trying to come back as a hitter a la Rick Ankiel.

PITCH 12: He is one of the few hitters that I want to throw fastballs for strikes up in the zone rather than down. His first move as a hitter is to drop his hands, so anything low finds his barrel. Joel calls a fastball away, he takes it for strike one. Count 0-1

PITCH 13: This is a set up pitch. I want to end up getting him out hard up and in. But if I throw him 3 in a row there is a chance he will catch up to the 3rd one. So, I try to throw a change up off the plate for a ball, just to change his rhythm. I end up throwing it down and away for a strike, and he rolls over it foul. He was clearly geared up for the fastball on that pitch. Count 0-2

PITCH 14: Now he is perfectly set up for the high fastball. Joel calls for it outside, and I say yes, but have no intention on throwing it outside, in fact, I want to throw it right over the middle and at his letters. I execute the pitch and get the reaction I wanted. End of the inning.”