Last night Jon Lester struck out a career-high 15 and allowed only one hit over eight scoreless innings.
The crazy thing is, Jon didn’t feel the best in the bullpen before the game. He had this to say.
“It’s probably the worst cutter I’ve thrown in a bullpen in a long time, but I don’t take much stock in my bullpens anymore,” Lester said. “You’re down there to get loose. I think the biggest thing for me is just getting on the mound and getting that adrenaline going.”
This reminds me of when Nolan Ryan threw his seventh no-hitter. Tom House (Texas Rangers Pitching Coach at that time) said he threw so bad in the bullpen that it would probably be Nolan’s last game he ever would throw. He proved him wrong that day.
Going back to Jon Lester’s performance last night; it was incredible! Here are some highlights of last nights game against the Oakland A’s.
Watch how smooth and controlled his mechanics are. All of his momentum is going toward home plate; not a wasted movement. I also want to point out how relaxed he is (like many mlb pitchers); many youth pitchers tend to be more “arm focused” pitchers and tense up when they try throwing hard. Tensing up makes you throw slower. At any rate, here is the brief highlight video.
In addition, I also found this pitching mechanics video of Jon throwing in the bullpen. Again, watch how smooth and relaxed he is when he is warming up for the game.
Do you think he cares about his throwing motion? Is he taking his warm-up seriously?
He has such a smooth delivery and outstanding mechanics. One more thing to point out here. I’ve been pointing this out for years now, but many coaches are unaware of the importance of this. At 23 seconds, what is his pivot foot doing? He rotates his back foot (on his tip toe) and lightly drags it as his entire body continues to move forward. He keeps his pivot foot on the ground until release of the ball. This keeps his core engaged and the power in his delivery until the end of the throw.
To learn more about throwing mechanics I highly recommend my pitching mechanics / coaching pitchers DVD.
Have a great weekend and play hard!
The Pitching Academy