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 Post subject: Bucfan's son ...
PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 12:58 am 
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Started for high school team today and followed Joe Kerrigan's advice. 5 IP, 1 H, 0 walks, 4 K's. Threw 64 pitches, 46 of them strikes. Inside corner, outside corner, fastball, change, curve - all pitches for strikes. Son went to a 3-ball count on just two batters - both on 2-2 pitches that were just a hair off the corner.

Two base runners - a single and an error by the 3B'man. No runner reached second base.

Left with a 4-0 lead that the bullpen surrendered. Relievers gave up 1 in the 6th, 3 in the 7th (all with 2 outs), and 1 in the top of the 8th that the team could not match. Wound up losing 5-4 in 8 innings.

Son deserved his first varsity win ... too bad. He threw really well against a good team, one that pounded the relievers and the other pitchers in the nightcap of the double header. Bit miffed that the pen squandered the lead, since Fox Sports was filming the game to showcase on its high school baseball spotlight. The spotlight will now be about the dramatic, two-out rally, rather than the effort of the young man who dominated for 5 innings.


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 Post subject: Re: Bucfan's son ...
PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 8:54 am 
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Tough thing for a dad to watch, Bucfan. Boy, did he pound the zone, though!


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 Post subject: Re: Bucfan's son ...
PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 11:19 am 
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Is he on a strict pitch count or a rules mandated pitch count? Excuse my ignorance... just wondering why he was lifted after 5?


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 Post subject: Re: Bucfan's son ...
PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 12:49 pm 
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Tell him congrats from Az. Sounds like a great outing for him. Had to be a pretty nice birthday present to witness his success. And a happy b day from us too. Don't worry, the wins will come.


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 Post subject: Re: Bucfan's son ...
PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 2:07 pm 
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Jack Round Tripper wrote:
Is he on a strict pitch count or a rules mandated pitch count? Excuse my ignorance... just wondering why he was lifted after 5?


Good question. Son broke finger on his non-throwing hand in wrestling (Dan can relate), so he was a bit behind the other pitchers in working on his durability. However, he felt extremely strong after 5 and told the coach that he felt "great." He could have gone another inning, and I believe that he may have, had he not given up the single in the 5th inning. (Son would have had a no-hitter for 5 but for that single.)

I also suspect (for good reason) that son's Coach is not a believer in Bucfan's son - yet. He seems constantly surprised at how well he does. Bucfan's son made his first start against a team that was ranked number 11 in the nation last year, went two shutout innings. Coach pulled Bucfan's son after a 1-2-3 second inning, where son threw 9 pitches, 8 strikes. Son could have gone at least 1 more inning, maybe 2, but coach was surprised at how well son threw.

Yesterday, son threw 15 pitches in the second and third innings - COMBINED. 14 strikes. Two K's. Two popups. Two grounders.

It appears to me that the coach will need to be convinced that what son is doing is not fluke. Son actually pitches - little on, little off, inside corner, outside corner, knee high, a bit above the letters. Nothing thigh high, nothing middle of the plate.

At this point, son is the number 3 starter for his team ... as AZ, knows, that is the kiss of death. High school teams play 2 games per week, except for tournaments, so being the number 3 starter is not a desired position.


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 Post subject: Re: Bucfan's son ...
PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 2:18 pm 
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Az Bucco fan wrote:
Tell him congrats from Az. Sounds like a great outing for him. Had to be a pretty nice birthday present to witness his success. And a happy b day from us too. Don't worry, the wins will come.


Thx, Az. Son is still bummed about not getting the win but he is pleased with his effort. Thought that he sould have gone another inning, but oh well. It was a nice birthday gift, no doubt. And I expect that as the season progresses, he will earn his way up the pitching chart.

As I noted in response to Jack's inquiry, son is the number 3 starter. The top 2 starters are also juniors, and strike throwers. Getting time on the hill will be tough. Son may wind up being a reliever, which is a waste since son throws 4 pitches for strikes.


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 Post subject: Re: Bucfan's son ...
PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 2:28 pm 
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doug frobel wrote:
Tough thing for a dad to watch, Bucfan. Boy, did he pound the zone, though!


Tough to watch the lead evaporate, no doubt. But I had a feeling that the team was not taking advantage of its scoring opportunities. It was one of those games where son's team was dominating, but I had a feeling that the hitters needed to get more done. Two runners thrown out on the bases on pretty dumb manuevers, failure to score a runner from third with less than two outs.

Sometimes, a team is hyponitized by its own starting pitcher. The innings roll by so easily that it seems that the hitters are convinced the outcome is destined and that no more runs are needed.

That may have been true had son been in a position to go 7 innings.


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 Post subject: Re: Bucfan's son ...
PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 3:36 pm 
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Who does your son play for?

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 Post subject: Re: Bucfan's son ...
PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 4:21 pm 
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Ryann wrote:
Who does your son play for?


Crespi High School in Encino, California.


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 Post subject: Re: Bucfan's son ...
PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 4:48 pm 
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Son in earlier game:

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Bucfan's son ...
PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 6:31 pm 
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Congrats...

Wrestling injuries seem to scare coaches in other sports and then when its an injury like a finger where he could have still wrestled with but is unable to do any real baseball activities is a pain...

I hope he sees more time either on the mound or on the field somewhere...I never played high school ball, but was one of the better Legion Ball guys in the area when I was in school...If he's got talent, scouts will find him...

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 Post subject: Re: Bucfan's son ...
PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:39 pm 
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What grade is your boy in?? I ask that because I noticed you said he threw a curveball..


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 Post subject: Re: Bucfan's son ...
PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:45 pm 
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curveradio wrote:
What grade is your boy in?? I ask that because I noticed you said he threw a curveball..

He is a junior in high school and just turned 17 a little while ago.

He has thrown very, very few breaking balls as he developed. He threw 4-seam and change-up throughout Little League. He threw a few curves in Pony League (ages 13-14). He would throw maybe 2-3 curve balls per inning, or 5-10 in a game.

It is tough to keep young pitchers from throwing breaking balls. They learn the pitch from teammates, see the success that young pitchers have with the breaking ball, and want to have some of that success. I became involved with coaching youth baseball to make sure that my son would not be allowed to throw curve balls at too early an age, or too often when he could throw it.

Right now, son relies on 2-seam, circle change, 4-seam, and curve - in that order of preference. His change is his offspeed pitch. His curve ball is a plus pitch and locks up hitters, but even now, son prefers the other 3 pitches.


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 Post subject: Re: Bucfan's son ...
PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:48 pm 
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Does his 2 seamer have some sink to it?


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 Post subject: Re: Bucfan's son ...
PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:53 pm 
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Az Bucco fan wrote:
Does his 2 seamer have some sink to it?

Like Britney Spears' career. He learned to throw the 2-seamer with about 6" of tail and notable sink while working with a pitching coach who is also now working as a local scout for the Reds.

The pitching coach has taught son the proper arm angle, release point, and finger pressure. The ball was diving and running into righties so much that most of those guys wished they had those shin protectors. Lots of foul balls off the top of the foot and hopping around home plate.


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 Post subject: Re: Bucfan's son ...
PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 6:29 pm 
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The 2 seamer is a pitch that all pitchers should learn along with the circle change. The 2 seamer is much harder to control. If you don't believe me see Kip Wells.


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 Post subject: Re: Bucfan's son ...
PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 6:49 pm 
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Az Bucco fan wrote:
The 2 seamer is a pitch that all pitchers should learn along with the circle change. The 2 seamer is much harder to control.


No doubt. Son had trouble with 2-seam beginning about 2 years ago, following growth spurt, since it was running and tailing so much. Son relied on 4-seam until about 6 months ago, when the new pitching coach worked with him on the 2-seam. Son has learned to control the tail so that it does not run into right-handed batters.


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 Post subject: Re: Bucfan's son ...
PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:15 pm 
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I'm going to assume here that he gets his good looks from his mother. You don't sound handsome, dude.

Congrats to him for a start he should be proud of. And to you assuming that you have some finger nails left.

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 Post subject: Re: Bucfan's son ...
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:53 pm 
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Glad to see your boy isn't throwing alot of curve balls. I cringe every time some knucklehead coach allows a 12 or 13 year old kid to throw a curve ball. That pitch is the biggest reason why "Tommy John" surgeries are through the roof. I have had many discussions with scouts about kids throwing the curve and all of them have said nobody should be allowed to throw that pitch until their body is done developing. It puts too much stress on the elbow, causing the tendon to tear down the road.


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 Post subject: Re: Bucfan's son ...
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 2:12 pm 
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curveradio wrote:
Glad to see your boy isn't throwing alot of curve balls. I cringe every time some knucklehead coach allows a 12 or 13 year old kid to throw a curve ball. That pitch is the biggest reason why "Tommy John" surgeries are through the roof.

Good friend of my son is a relatively talented lefty who threw a ton of breaking balls. He had some elbow problems beginning this past summer, and finally underwent the Tommy John surgery last fall - at age 17.

He was a pitcher on the same team as my son at age 13. I was a coach. We would literally have to argue with him to throw more fastballs. He would shake off the fastball, since he would get so many K's with his curve.

I tried to get him to develop a change. He was not interested. I would visit the mound at least once per game to tell him to stop throwing so many breaking balls. "But they can't hit the curve," he would say. "The other 8 guys have mitts," I would tell him.

And another problem here in So Cal, and in Florida, Arizona: year round baseball. The weather allows it. Young pitchers throw for 9 or 10 months per year. Crazy. Son plays and has played other sports. He does not throw a baseball much at all from September through January, except for pitching lessons 2x per month.

curveradio wrote:
I have had many discussions with scouts about kids throwing the curve and all of them have said nobody should be allowed to throw that pitch until their body is done developing.

The only part of me still developing is my gut. I am good to throw the curve in batting practice!!


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