Stability

by Tom Swift

[Atlanta pitcher Greg] Maddux has also developed a bulletproof confidence in his pitches. “It keeps you from panicking,” he says. He still vividly recalls the moment seven years ago when he realized he had to learn to trust his own abilities. He lost to St. Louis in the 11th inning when Luis Alicea hit one of his fastballs for a bad-hop, bases loaded single. “I pitched 10 scoreless innings and lost because I was afraid to throw a changeup,” he says.

“Now,” says [San Francisco Giants pitching coach Dick] Pole, “if he gets a full count on you with the bases loaded, he’ll throw a changeup. That s.o.b. doesn’t even care about walking in the tying run.”

-Tom Verducci, “Once in a Lifetime,” Sports Illustrated, 8-14-1995