One of the decisions I think a lot of coaches struggle with, is when to pull a pitcher from a game. I mean, when should a coach say "Get her out of there," or to be politically correct " Let's make a change. "
There are a few warning signs that can help give a coach, or the catcher, some tips if the pitcher is "done." A lot of time the offense's goal is to have quality at-bats. If a pitcher is buzzing along, then all of a sudden begins to give up some "hard hit" outs, that's an early warning sign. Of course an increase in hits, or particularly, consecutive base hits, is a definite.
Another sign of when it's time to make a change, is when the pitcher begins to fall behind in the count on a regular basis. This may even result in walking batters. Falling behind in the count will be linked to giving up big hits and more walks. Either of those will beat a team quick. Read the signs! On offense we count how many first pitch strikes a pitcher throws. On defense, if you're wondering if it's time to make a change, count how many first pitch balls the pitcher is throwing. Or count how many batters she has been behind in the count in, over the last inning or two.
The tell tale sign a pitcher is done is when she starts looking at the dugout. This body language says, "Hey, I am struggling, do you want to take me out?" Or "take me out" or just flat out, "HELP!" I always believe actions speak louder than words. So don't be fooled by a pitcher's great answers if she doesn't want to come out of the game. Read the signs....then give her the hook!
For questions or comments write me on twitter @barbjordan18