Baseball Magazine

The Two-run Window for Pitchers

By Meachrm @BaseballBTYard

Bases loaded and no outs is a situation that all pitchers will run into
 at some point.  What his mental approach and expectations are will go a 
long way in determining how this situation turns out. 

Many pitchers 
make the mistake of thinking their job in this situation is to prevent a single run from
 scoring.  Anything other than zero on the board is considered a bad inning for some.  If they think this way, they are usually setting themselves up for failure. 

How a pitcher mentally handles this jam is important

How a pitcher mentally handles this jam is important

A tip for 
pitchers is to take a big picture approach and allow themselves a 2-run
 window in which to work.  They basically accept that the other team is going 
to score two runs.  The situation becomes a competition to not allow
 more than two runs to score.

   In their mind, there is only a runner on first base.

As I mentioned HERE, most games are won by big innings.  Stop a team from scoring more than two runs in an inning and your chances of winning go up quite a bit.

This two-run approach can give a pitcher a realistic goal to shoot
 for.  A
 pitcher who does this can walk off the mound feeling as if he “won” that inning even
 though the other team scored two.  He stays positive which will help him as the game moves on.

Ironically, when a pitcher relaxes a bit more due to this thinking, he’ll often make better pitches and may get out of the inning with less than two runs scored.

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