How Did You Bounce Back from Your WORST Outing Ever?

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worst outing ever

Let’s not lie to ourselves….as pitchers, we have all had horrible outings. Every Single one of us has had our Worst Outing Ever.  It’s nothing to be ashamed about. Everyone has been there. Nothing felt good, nothing went right…..Nonetheless, you flush it out and move on…..However, many pitchers struggle to handle it correctly and get back on track towards helping their team win ball games.

I’ll break the ice here…..and share with you my worst outing ever….and it was Bad…I mean REAL BAD!!!!!

My Worst Outing Ever
…And it was BAD!!!!

It was my 1st year in pro baseball, I was pitching in the Frontier League with the Ohio Valley Redcoats.  We were a travel team.  Which meant we had no home stadium….we played a majority of our games on the road.  Therefore, a lot of hours spent on bus rides through the middle of the night every 3 days.

Unfortunately, this usually meant that the 1st game of every series was a wash….like losing 14-0!

We were playing the Florence Freedom, just outside Cincinnati. In Game 1 of the series, we followed suit and got absolutely Shellacked!!!!  The manager had enough of this nonsense and he let us have it after the game.  We deserved it.  So that set the tone that we have to come play the next night.

And we did….we jumped out to a lead early and tacked on some more…

Now my first 3 outings of the year so far, I pitched well and had go to spot in the back end of the bullpen. One of them was recording a 7 Out Save.  So it was the 8th inning when I came in, the pitcher who started the inning got into a jam.  When I came in from the bullpen, no one told me that it was bases loaded, no outs,  I didn’t realize that until 2 pitches into the first batter.  In the bullpen and my 8 warm up pitches didn’t feel great, however, I had to keep chugging along and find a way.  Hence, relying on Hope was not an option…it never is!

I believe that I hit the first batter, then gave up 2 straight hits. Therefore, all 3 inherited runners scored.  Basically, a lot of gas was just thrown on the fire.  Like Clockwork, the manager made the long slow walk out to the mound. I figured my night was over before it even started.  And he told me,

mound visit

I am not going to take you out of this game,
I want to see you pitch through this, I know you got the stuff to do so…

SHOCKED was an understatement as to how to describe what he told me.  So now I had to turn the switch back on, because I had to accept his challenge.  So for the next 3 hitters, I got ahead with 2 strikes on all of them.  I had both my fastball and Slider going for me, which was rare, because I usually only had one of the 2 that was sharp most days.  Having 2 strikes on these 3 hitters with overpowering stuff, yet I just couldn’t finish them off. They all got 2 strike hits.  I will tell you why in just a bit…

Eventually, I did get pulled without recording an out.  I came in with the bases loaded and left with them loaded with a whole new set of runners.  The pitcher came in after me gave up 2 hits and my 3 runners scored.  


worst outing ever

My Worst Outing Ever
The Final Talley

0 IP 6 ER  9 Runs scored that inning

Obviously, I was charged with the loss…..and the clubhouse had the ultimate walk of shame.  From the third base dugout, we had to go across to the right field corner, through the gate, and up the hill walking on asphalt with metal spikes for about a ¼ mile…It made the old Polo Ground’s clubhouse seem like a cake walk.

It was the longest few minutes of my life and just something that I never experienced before as a pitcher.

wosrt outing ever

The next day, I could laugh about it with my teammates in the hotel lobby waiting for the bus…My manager asked me if I could go again that night…..Absolutely….ABSOLUTELY is the only possible answer that exists in this situation….You gotta get back out there as soon as possible.

Now I pitched again 2 days later, .2 IP came in and got a double play.  Which was big, because we are down a lot early as our starter, our #1 was knocked out in the 4th. We rallied back to win in the 9th as the other team had a bullpen meltdown.  It’s funny how this game goes sometimes.  Our bullpen did the job, and held the last 5 innings scoreless, and our starter thanked us all gratefully after the game, as he called it the best no decision of his career.  

Then I pitched well in relief 1 inning next night also.  As my Worst Outing Ever was merely now a distant rumination.  Having a short memory is the mark if handling setbacks.

Bad outings are a part of the game…. No one is above them.  None of us are….The bigger factor is how well you can put it behind you and bounce back. Are you able to return to pitching with the mental mindset that makes you successful?  The Fearless Warrior.

My Worst Outing Ever
How Would I Have Done This Differently?

I would have slowed the game down more to prevent the hyperactive adrenaline take over.  That is what plagued me.  When you are trying to pitch on an extreme adrenaline rush, there is no guarantee you will make any of your pitches.  It wasn’t until a few years later that I learned how to slow the game down…and the importance of doing so for success as a pitcher.  Plus, I would have better prepared myself mentally as to how I would have worked hitters.  With this preparation, I would have focused on making one pitch at a time…..see each pitch in my head, and then physically execute it.

As things snowball when they go bad for pitchers, and myself that night included, we try to make 10 pitches at once…we think that we have to, and are capable of striking out the side on 1 pitch.…and when one call doesn’t go your way or you give up a hit, mentally, you are finished….all the wheels have fallen off the wagon.  It is theThe Fight or Flight Mentality.

Being overtaken by this savage affliction leads to overthrowing.  Of course when you overthrow, your ball is elevated in the zone.  That’s exactly what happened to me, as I tried to Overpower the hitter with 2 strikes….and the result…well…you already know….

My Worst Outing Ever
Moving On

Most of All, remember baseball is a game of failure, and a game of redemption.  Bad outings will happen, and you WILL have another opportunity to prove yourself.  

It seem like your are strong enough handle the rough setbacks that the beautiful game of baseball hands upon us. Consequently, we all have to get things off our chest from time to time.  Baseball is no different.  It helps us move on.  In Closing, please feel free to acknowledge an awful pitching experience that you had by leaving us a comment below.  Tell us about your worst outing ever as a pitcher and how you bounced back to be your Fearless, Dominant self again on the pitcher’s mound.


Keep Dominating!!!!




worst outing ever

About the Author

Brad Kirsch Slider DominationBrad Kirsch is the Owner/Creator of Slider Domination.
He is a former professional pitcher who blogs about all things Pitching.
Brad has also authored the AudioBook,
7 Reasons Why YOU Should Throw a Slider.
If you haven’t done so already, you can Download the AudioBook Here

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