When I look at your pitch pattern in the game on February 6th it has got to be difficult on hitters to figure out what you are doing. Of the 18 hitters you faced, 13 of the 18 didn't see the same velocity during their at-bat. Explain to me what you were trying to do in that game.
"Basically, what I was trying to do is throw each pitch a different speed. I think the hardest I got hit was the single that Cole Gordon hit. It almost took my head off. I think part of the reason for that is I almost threw the same (velocity) three pitches in a row. That is something that I try to avoid. But when I did that I feel like he was on it.
"My gameplan is to keep them off-balance. I have three different fastballs. And I think my changeup does that for me as well. And now my slider has really come along as a swing and miss pitch."
I can see that because of your eight strikeouts in this game, six were on your off-speed pitches. Switching to another subject, when you face a hitter a second time in the game do you try to change the type pattern you use against him during his first at-bat? As an example, did you try to change what you threw against Seth Heck the second time around?
"Although it is difficult to remember how I threw to a batter the first time, I try to remember. Honestly, if that worked the first time then I might go back to it but, also, they might be on it, too. So, I just try to pick and choose my battles.
"Usually, a lot of times what I do is look at where the batter stands (in the batters box). I feel like I can paint inside the plate to a righty but if he is off the plate, then that inside is like right down the middle to him. If someone crowds the plate then I want to go inside on their hands. I'll usually got hard in. I usually don't throw anything slow because that is a recipe for danger for a pitcher. I don't throw the hardest but let's say I throw 84, then I throw 88. Well, that 88 looks 94 after I have thrown an 84. I don't throw the hardest, so I can't throw it by them even if I throw as hard as a I can every time. But if I mess with their eyes, then I can throw it by them. That is my gameplan."
During the first inning of the February 6th game you threw 84 to 87 miles per hour to Seth Heck, then threw 89 to 91 to the next two batters. Was that intentional or did you simply start off slow against the first batter?
"No, whenever I hit 90 it is probably my four-seam fastball. I probably didn't throw a four-seam to Seth Heck."
Let's look at the next batter in the first inning after Seth Heck had batted, John Holland. What were you trying to do against him?
"John Holland is a lefty. My four-seam goes a little to my glove side, so I was trying to get in on him. It cuts in on him a little bit. That's why I threw it against him. If I had thrown that against Heck, he would have gotten on it pretty easily because he goes the other way so well. He might have been able to hit a single to right field."
Your velocity pretty much stayed the same from the first to the fifth inning.
"I'm not a muscle up guy. I try to stay as relaxed as I can with my throwing shoulder. So, my velo is my legs and the elasticity of my arm. Due to that, I don't fatigue as much as other people do. That is kind of how Ross Mitchell is as well. He doesn't throw that hard but he will be throwing the same velocity at the end of the game as he was when he started the game."
This game was an outstanding game for you. Is your confidence level in yourself as high as this game was good?
"This was a scrimmage. I did good but this was just practice. I want to be able to do this next weekend in a game. But, yeah, I feel like I can."
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.