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View Full Version : So define hanging curveball???



kaldaniels
06-11-2008, 01:00 PM
Ok...the obvious is that it is a curve that doesn't break until it is too late or a curve that doesn't break enough and ends up in the zone. Either way...its up.

However I often see curveballs taken high by the batter and the announcer goes "and that one drops in for a strike" or some other praise

Am I correct in my thinking that had that same pitch been mashed out of the ballpark...the pitcher would have been blasted for "hanging it"

Do you know what I am driving at here...it seems as if when a batter takes the pitch it was a good pitch but if he hits it it was a horrible pitch. Is there something I am missing...

gm
06-11-2008, 01:05 PM
Jim Bouton asked this question in Ball Four "has a good pitch every been hit?" (The consensus was "no") If a breaking pitch is hit hard, it was a hanger. If it fools the hitter, the curve was a yacker, etc

it's called "second guessing"

RedsManRick
06-11-2008, 01:24 PM
I've always understood the term "hanging" to mean that the ball traveled on a horizontal plane that was flatter than anticipated and perhaps with less break. Thus while the pitch may break as much as intended, it ends up higher does not have the same visual affect. The "hanging" moniker comes from the pitch sitting in the middle of the batter's hitting zone for longer that it should.

I think you are right in so far as the way the pitch is called has a lot to do with the way the pitcher reacts. The key, I think, is understanding what the pitcher was trying to do with the pitch. Rich Hill, for example, will often purposefully throw his curve in the top of the zone, and you'll see it up at the eyes and then break hard down in to the zone. But watch Bronson Arroyo and you'll see he has a tendency to "hang" his curve, where it spins but doesn't break as hard as he'd like and ends up thigh/belt high.

Superdude
06-11-2008, 01:25 PM
I think it has something to do with whether or not it breaks. If the curve was meant to be at the bottom of the zone, but didn't break, it "hung". If it starts out high but still has a snappy break back into the strikezone, it's not as bad. That could be entirely wrong, but that's my guess.

SunDeck
06-11-2008, 01:26 PM
I read a long time ago that pitching is the art of keeping a batter off balance. Throwing a really good fastball that a batter is expecting might end up as a home run, whereas tossing a curve in there when a batter is looking for a fastball might end up being one of those that "drops in there for a strike" because the batter was not able to pull the trigger and hit it.

To me, a hanging curveball is one that doesn't snap or that just doesn't break much, but (if I understand your point here) I agree that a hanging curveball isn't usually a term used unless the batter takes advantage of the mistake.

westofyou
06-11-2008, 01:28 PM
To throw a curveball correctly, proper spin must be given to the ball as its released. Generally pitchers grip the ball deeper into their palm and fingers than they would a fastball. Pitchers usually position their index finger aside one the ball's raised seams in for more leverage in spinning the baseball. At the release point they then roll their hand over the top of the ball to throw it forward with downspin. If this movement is poorly executed the ball will have lazy spin, not break in flight, and be much easier to hit—the "hanging curve"

westofyou
06-11-2008, 01:30 PM
I read a long time ago that pitching is the art of keeping a batter off balance. Throwing a really good fastball that a batter is expecting might end up as a home run, whereas tossing a curve in there when a batter is looking for a fastball might end up being one of those that "drops in there for a strike" because the batter was not able to pull the trigger and hit it.

To me, a hanging curveball is one that doesn't snap or that just doesn't break much, but (if I understand your point here) I agree that a hanging curveball isn't usually a term used unless the batter takes advantage of the mistake.

"A pitcher needs two pitches, one they're looking for and one to cross them up."

"Hitting is timing. Pitching is upsetting timing."

Warren Spahn

blumj
06-11-2008, 01:45 PM
To me, a hanging curveball is one that doesn't snap or that just doesn't break much, but (if I understand your point here) I agree that a hanging curveball isn't usually a term used unless the batter takes advantage of the mistake.
Unless you watch the Red Sox on NESN all the time. Jerry Remy is always pointing out hangers that the pitcher got away with.

kaldaniels
06-11-2008, 01:48 PM
Unless you watch the Red Sox on NESN all the time. Jerry Remy is always pointing out hangers that the pitcher got away with.

I don't know if Remy is the analyst or PBP...but I will add (not to pick on GG) but generally Grande will constantly praise the pitch...while every once in a while Welsh/Brantley will indeed point out a hanger. That in fact is what analysts are for.

RFS62
06-11-2008, 02:50 PM
Plenty of great pitches get hammered. And plenty of hanging curves are taken for strikes.

All a pitcher can do is try to hit his spots with the speed and movement he intended.

Sometimes you get beat on a great pitch, sometimes you get away with a big mistake.

I've always called curveballs which break very little or not at all, usually left up in the zone, hanging curves. The "hanging" is relative to what a good curve would do from the same pitcher.

blumj
06-11-2008, 04:14 PM
I don't know if Remy is the analyst or PBP...but I will add (not to pick on GG) but generally Grande will constantly praise the pitch...while every once in a while Welsh/Brantley will indeed point out a hanger. That in fact is what analysts are for.
Analyst, and, of course, that's the kind of thing they're supposed to tell you or what's the point of having one? But I'm always surprised by how little a lot of analysts do tell you, like they don't even know themselves what they're supposed to be doing. You can watch whole games sometimes and not hear a single word about how the defense is set up or why.

cincinnati chili
06-12-2008, 01:52 AM
Plenty of great pitches get hammered. And plenty of hanging curves are taken for strikes.

All a pitcher can do is try to hit his spots with the speed and movement he intended.

Sometimes you get beat on a great pitch, sometimes you get away with a big mistake.

I've always called curveballs which break very little or not at all, usually left up in the zone, hanging curves. The "hanging" is relative to what a good curve would do from the same pitcher.

Well said. And the portion I bolded is why you often need a season or several seasons' worth of data to know if a pitcher is good. Braden Looper pitched a shutout tonight. Was he good? Was the Reds' approach bad? Was Looper lucky?

All I know is that the guy never had a complete game before tonight, and I'd say it's even money he never pitches another shutout ever again. Make out that what you will.

M2
06-12-2008, 07:53 PM
I believe a hanging curve is when a pitcher hasn't fully punched through the pitch and the ball is left dangling. While pitch fX data often fails to register that the pitch is indeed a curve the intent of the pitcher is usually clear upon eyeball inspection.