Pitching Machine

Winter is my least favorite season of the year.  Besides not being able to enjoy baseball, because I live in Pennsylvania, I have to brave snow and cold temperatures for at least three months of the year.  However, this winter has been much milder than I can remember.  We’ve had some light snowfalls, but nothing that’s caused any transportation problems.  In fact, many districts in the area haven’t even had a two hour delay yet this year.

Yesterday the high temperature reached 61 degrees.  The normal high for the end of January is in the mid-30’s.  I decided to take advantage of the weather and take some swings.

The last time I hit was in early to mid December and I hadn’t picked up a bat in weeks.  I wanted to practice a little bit so when the summer comes I won’t be awful.

For my birthday last year Amy bought me a pitching machine.  It pitches golf ball sized wiffle balls at speeds of up to 60 MPH.

The machine can also do soft toss, or throw curves, sliders, and cutters.  I used it to train for the Pirates in door batting practice session by putting it about 30 feet away, setting it at 60mph, and just trying to make contact.  As a result, in the cage later that day, I didn’t miss a pitch.

I tried to pick up where I left off, setting up the machine maybe 30-40 feet away.

I used the corner of the tennis court as my home plate.

The first round didn’t go so well.  I took mighty swings, trying to hit the ball over the fence that would be equivalent to left field.

But I was too rusty and the machine was too fast.  In fact, my swing felt like a mess.  I’d spent the winter lifting weights, so my swing didn’t feel fluid anymore.

I turned the pitching machine down to a lower speed, and began to finally began to make some solid contact.

Ater about 2.5 rounds and 250 swings later, I packed up the stuff and Olivia, Amy and I went for a walk through the park to enjoy the nice weather.

Including Olivia’s first ever experience of seeing a stream.

I hope the rest of you are enjoying the warm weather, since most of the country has had a really mild winter.

There’s only 64 more days until Opening Day, 17 days until pitchers and catchers report to spring training, and 4 more days to win this Matt Wieters shirt.


  1. Zac Weiss

    Pittsburgh weather has indeed been weird, and I am glad that you got some swings in. Which tennis court was that out of curiousity? I hope you get your swing back, but muscle memory is a hard thing.

  2. Stephen

    I know it was a gift, but do you know where she got that? That’s actually a good idea to set it up on a tennis court

  3. mlblogscountingbaseballs

    The tennis court is right by the field that you pitched to me on back in September. If you’re up to it, I’ll play you sometime in tennis, although I’d assume you’re really good at it since you give lessons and all.

    Stephen and Joey,
    Here’s the link:

    I wish I could participate in spring training. My friends and I usually play once the weather warms up and I don’t want to suck. That’s another entry towards the Wieters drawing for you too.