All pitchers should work as fast as Toronto Blue Jays‘ starter Mark Buehrle. A fast-working pitcher helps the defense stay focused and improves the fan experience. More importantly, working fast helps gain an edge in many different areas. It can mean an easy out late in the game when it’s needed or make a high-leverage situation less stressful.
Buehrle has always been the figurehead for quick working pitchers. In his starts, batters know from experience that they’re not be able to step in and out of the batter’s box (by the way, dancing with the batter’s box should be outlawed. Get in the box and stay in the box).
When Buehrle is able string a couple of quick outs together, he builds momentum. After hitting the strike zone consistently, he is able to zero in on a comfort zone with the umpire’s strike zone.
Mentally, when a pitcher works quickly, they have less time to think about bad pitches or maintaining a one-run lead. It has been thrilling to watch Buehrle create his own pitching tempo, working to his own beat with his focus concentrated on hitting the strike zone.
The benefits of working fast from the mound may be small and difficult to measure; however, all of the benefits together add up over starts. The positives far outweigh any negatives in this strategy.