Butch Thompson Talks About His Pitchers

Mississippi State pitching coach Butch Thompson talks about the performances of hit pitchers Tyler Whitney, Forrest Moore and Nick Routt.

Talk about the pitching of junior lefthanded pitcher Tyler Whitney (5 IP, 4 H, 3 SO, 2 BB, 4 R, 1 ER).
"They had some hard contact early in the game against him, but he stayed poised. He was up a little in the zone early. The same thing happened in Hawaii. He settled down, kept battling and kept us in the game.

"When the guy for South Carolina hit the ball for a home run, we really didn't want to give him a lot to hit in that situation because he's capable of doing what he did (hit a home run). And his hit tied the game up."

What did he hit off of Tyler?
"He hit a changeup. We wanted to throw it but it just got up a little bit more than we wanted. It got up a little bit and Crisp hit the home run. He had struck out earlier against Tyler in his first at-bat and really looked silly the two pitches prior to the home run. But we didn't make a quality enough pitch and Tyler paid for it. But (Tyler) didn't let it get to him and he wound up getting to 94 pitches."

Was that the reason you decided to take him out after five innings, the number of pitches he had thrown?
"Yeah, we were going to 110 to 115 (pitches) anyway and he was at 94. He had competed and gotten through five innings."

Sophomore LHP Forrest Moore also pitched well in relief to earn his first save of the season (4 IP, 4 H, 7 SO, 1 BB, 2 R, 1 ER).
"Forrest did a great job. That may have been his most locked-in approach. And he did a great job which allowed us not to use anymore of our bullpen. By him finishing that game it sure keeps us strong in the bullpen for the next two games."

Nick Routt pitched a great two innings in the second game before it was suspended due to the weather (2 IP, 0 H, 2 SO, 0 BB, 0 R).
"He really didn't have a big miss in the entire two innings. He really came out and attacked. He was throwing the ball so well and it was really spinning. It was really frustrating to end the game right now because I would have liked to have seen what kind of game he could have thrown."

Will he be able to pitch Sunday in the first game?
"He only threw 19 pitches so we'll give it a whirl and see. I feel like if he had gotten through the 3rd or 4th inning he would have been a no for sure, but with 19 pitches in two innings - unless he stiffens up - we probably will pitch him."

Was this the best that Nick has thrown?
"He gave up 4 runs against Hawaii. He had a tough inning where they scored four but he came out the next inning and threw well, then threw something like 3 or 4 more innings. And everything was quality. And I think he picked up from there."

He was throwing his fastball at 85 to 87 miles per hour tonight. What does he normally throw?
"84 to 85, so the 85 to 87 was good for him."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on the Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

Gene's Page Top Stories