Baseball is my favorite sport for endless reasons. One of them being I find it to be the sport most analogous to life.
Sometimes, your stuff just isn't there. You can do everything right, but for reasons beyond your control, the stuff just ain't there.
Deadspin defines stuff as a pitcher’s pitches, judged by how inherently hard those pitches are to hit.
Some pitchers had/have PHENOMENAL stuff nearly ALL of the time. I'm looking at you, Pedro Martinez.
But even those nearly-flawless athletes still have their off days. I'm looking at you, Jacob deGrom.
And often times, as you'll hear in the deGrom interview, they don't know why. They cannot tell you why their pitches weren't hitting their spots. Or why the spin rate was down. Or why the curve didn't break. And they also can't tell you why! It's fascinating and maddening.
With all the technology and scrutiny we have, psychology and emotions are still the biggest factor.
Today is a day where I feel like my stuff isn't there. And I can tell you why: ragweed. I'm being destroyed by plant pollen. But even though I know that, I don't feel any better about it. If deGrom had a headache, sinus pressure, and watery eyes and lacked his stuff, he would probably still feel as he felt about his last start as a human in full health.
I don't know where I'm going with this, but I think it has something to do with all of us being human and that sometimes, our stuff just isn't there. And that regardless of why, it's bothersome.