From baseball hall of famer Christy Mathewson's Pitching in a Pinch, originally published in 1912:
In most Big League ball games, there comes an inning on which hangs victory or defeat. Certain intellectual fans call it the crisis; college professors, interested in the sport, have named it the psychological moment; Big League managers mention it as the "break," and pitchers speak of the "pinch."
This is the time when each team is straining every nerve either to win or to prevent defeat. The players and spectators realize that the outcome of the inning is of vital importance. And in most of these pinches, the real burden falls on the pitcher. It is at this moment that he is "putting all he has" on the ball, and simultaneously his opponents are doing everything they can to disconcert him.
Managers wait for this break, and the shrewd league leader can often time it. Frequently a certain style of play is adopted to lead up to the pinch, then suddenly a slovenly mode of attack is changed, and the team comes on with a rush in an effort to break up the game. That is the real test of a pitcher. He must be able to live through these squalls.
Tags: Mathewson, baseball, pinch