Bryan Bullington has not had a major league career that many would expect a number one overall pick to have. Of course, there have been many road blocks and issues along the way. But we can take a lesson from the Bryan Bullington Book of Pitching after watching his last start.
The lesson: How to pitch inside effectively. Did Bryan mean to throw inside as much as he did? Some will argue that he didn’t, and I’m a believer in those arguments. However, how many pitchers do you see tie up a hitter so hard inside that the guy is laughing about it coming out of the box? I know Vladi swings at everything, but if he didn’t swing at that pitch it would have probably ended up somewhere behind him. Either way, Bullington did throw a lot of pitches inside to both righties and lefties. With a lot of armside run.
Because he was somewhat wild, you could see the Rangers hitters not digging in as comfortably as they would like. But also because he was wild, Bullington wasn’t able to control the strike zone and ended up getting beat because he left a lot of pitches waist high over the middle of the plate. But we can still take the lesson from this outing.
Pitching inside will get hitters uncomfortable and therefore is a must. If you can combine pitching inside effectively with pitching to the outside of the plate, you can be dominating. One thing I always tell my starters to do in their first inning is to establish your fastball to the outer edge of the plate on the knees. Once we establish that, we will then establish the fastball inside. Both we want to have happened by the end of the first inning. After that, we start to establish the off speed and we’re in a groove and able to be in control.