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Thread: Knowing how to pitch

  1. #16
    Haunted by walks
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    Re: Knowing how to pitch

    I guess I've been underestimating the role of the pitcher in "calling the game." I still wonder why more of that wisdom doesn't reside in the catcher, and whether it could be spread around.

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  3. #17
    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: Knowing how to pitch

    Quote Originally Posted by BCubb2003
    I guess I've been underestimating the role of the pitcher in "calling the game." I still wonder why more of that wisdom doesn't reside in the catcher, and whether it could be spread around.
    Hmmm, many ex-catchers managing, pitching on the downgrade....Conversely, how many former pitchers have become managers?
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    Re: Knowing how to pitch

    I still wonder why more of that wisdom doesn't reside in the catcher, and whether it could be spread around.
    I think some of the "wisdom" you're talking about is available only via what they commonly refer to as instinct. It's in all kinds of sports -- some players "see" stuff that other players don't, recognize situations faster, avoid mistakes much more easily. When they say someone just "knows how to play/pitch," I think a lot of what they're saying is that the player has good instincts. It's nebulous, and it's not teachable -- but it's real.
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  5. #19
    Member Spitball's Avatar
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    Re: Knowing how to pitch

    Stay ahead in the count.
    The following statistics, also gathered from five years of Division I college baseball, show that a pitcher has a decided advantage when he is pitching ahead in the count.

    Count/Batting average
    0-2/.118
    1-2/.151
    2-2/.169
    0-0/.186 (first pitch)
    3-2/.192
    0-1/.199
    3-0/.267
    1-1/.269
    2-1/.290
    3-1/.329
    1-0/.342
    2-0/.386

    Change speeds and locations to induce non-solid contact
    For example, pitching a right-handed batter low/in and up/away will limit his ability to make significant contact. Pitching a left-handed batter low/away and up/in will restrict the quality of his contact. A pitcher can change a batter’s eye levels by going up, down, in, and out in those zones, and he can further avoid solid contact by effectively changing speeds. The following data was compiled from five years of NCAA Division I baseball. The location of strikes was recorded and a value was awarded each hit ball. One (1) was awarded slow rolling ground balls and infield pop-ups. Two (2) was given weakly hit ground balls and pop-ups to the outfield. Three (3) was for routine ground balls and medium fly balls. Four (4) designated well-hit ground balls and deep fly balls. Five (5) was given to line drives and home runs.

    Low/In- R (2.13) L (3.62)
    Low/Mid- R (3.72) L (2.89)
    Low/Away-R (2.53) L (1.81)
    Belt/in- R (2.41) L (3.52)
    Belt/Mid- R (4.12) L (4.21)
    Belt/Away- R (2.61) L (2.14)
    Up/In- R (2.35) L (1.93)
    Up/Mid- R (2.71) L (2.64)
    Up/Away- R (1.92) L (2.08)
    Last edited by Spitball; 05-17-2006 at 03:29 PM.
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  6. #20
    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Re: Knowing how to pitch

    There are several good points made. Pitching is both science and art. You can read all day long that it's best to throw XYZ pitch to ABC hitter but if you can't actually throw that pitch then it doesn't really matter.

    Also, there are some guys who are good enough with their "stuff" that they can get by for a carear, especially considering the teams they may be on. A potent offense negates a lot of pitching errors.

    Lastly, I think arrogence has to be considered. A lot of times people are just pain stubburn and want to do things their way. Even though 500 other pitchers made the same mistake, they just have to go out and fail on their own to get the point.
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    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

  7. #21
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Knowing how to pitch

    Why is it that low/away is a good place to pitch a lefty but low/in is the way to pitch the righty? I've always heard that lefties have great power low/in but I can't seem to understand why. Humans are semetrical, as is the batter box & pitching mound, so why does this relationship change. There does not seem to be a mechanical difference.

    So is the greater point here that the best place to pitch is the low corner of the handedness of the pitcher and the higher corner opposite his handedness? Even so, why is this the case? I've always wondered...
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

  8. #22
    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: Knowing how to pitch

    Quote Originally Posted by BCubb2003
    I guess I've been underestimating the role of the pitcher in "calling the game." I still wonder why more of that wisdom doesn't reside in the catcher, and whether it could be spread around.
    Interesting note on this issue you raise. Listening to Scully call the Dodgers v. Rockies and he mentions that a Dodgers' axiom has always been that the catcher can only suggest, but the calling of the pitch ultimately resides with the pitcher.
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  9. #23
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    Re: Knowing how to pitch

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick
    Why is it that low/away is a good place to pitch a lefty but low/in is the way to pitch the righty? I've always heard that lefties have great power low/in but I can't seem to understand why. Humans are semetrical, as is the batter box & pitching mound, so why does this relationship change. There does not seem to be a mechanical difference.
    ...
    I believe it is because many left-handed batters are actually right handed individuals who are stronger with their right arm. They are able to generate the bat speed to turn on the low inside pitch and pull it.
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  10. #24
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    Re: Knowing how to pitch

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick
    Why is it that low/away is a good place to pitch a lefty but low/in is the way to pitch the righty? I've always heard that lefties have great power low/in but I can't seem to understand why. Humans are semetrical, as is the batter box & pitching mound, so why does this relationship change. There does not seem to be a mechanical difference.

    So is the greater point here that the best place to pitch is the low corner of the handedness of the pitcher and the higher corner opposite his handedness? Even so, why is this the case? I've always wondered...
    Great question Redsman. I think it depends on the hitter. Good pitching is based on confidence. Confidence in your stuff, your ability to change speeds, and your location. If these things are not working properly, and you do not have great velocity then the chances of you making a mistake to a hitter is simply more probable. That being said, to actually pitch. Contrary to just throwing the ball hard and trying to make some pitches move, is to exploit a hitters weaknesses. Left handers do tend to have great power low and in for some reason. It is just must be more natural for them. They have the capabilities to take the ball to left field quite easily but many just refuse to make the necessary adjustments. Griffey and Dunn come to mind. You will see them do it sometimes. Its quite funny to me that when the entire ballfield is pulled around to one side. The common sense thing to do is to hit it where they aint! However, these hitters like Griffey and Dunn are "homerun hitters". They intend to exploit the pitchers mistake by hitting the ball out of the ballpark and FAR! But when a pitcher is on his game, they are more apt to strike out because they are unwilling to change their approach. Many will say that is unecessary because they can easily take a walk. But is not a walk just something a pitcher allows you to have? Granted you should always swing at strikes and not balls but Id much rather not be at the pitchers mercy if he's on his game. Chokin up with two strikes and hitting something in a gap somewhere can apply to everyone not just Little Leaguers.

    Sorry for the digression, left handers you'll find have a harder time going the other way with the ball. Hence why some just don't work at it. Why this is I do not know. left brain right brain? Right handers however have an easier time doing this. An inside out swing is just more natural I guess. However, they can be suseptible to the inside pitch because they have a tendency to not stay within themselves. In other words, they want to roll their hands over on an inside pitch. This usually results in a ground out to the pitcher or hitting the ball off their front foot. Good right handed hitters can overcome this with quick wrists but better yet a quick pivot on their backfoot. If you notice Sheffiled usually ends up twisted in a ball when he swings causing him to be completely turned to left field foul territory. On the other hand, Kearns looks stationary. Like his legs are mired in cement causing his swing to look awful. I would apply the same scenario to Larue. These two usually are suspectible to hard throwing pitchers. One obivously more than another.

    Finally, pitching is 90% mental. You need to know hitter's weaknesses but especially his strengths. A good hitter will make you pay for your mistakes as a pitcher but also when you don't make a mistake like hitting your spots. If you havent noticed the scouting report is out on the Reds. They need to make adjustments.

  11. #25
    Member forfreelin04's Avatar
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    Re: Knowing how to pitch

    Quote Originally Posted by traderumor
    Interesting note on this issue you raise. Listening to Scully call the Dodgers v. Rockies and he mentions that a Dodgers' axiom has always been that the catcher can only suggest, but the calling of the pitch ultimately resides with the pitcher.
    That it does for he is throwing the pitch. But a catcher and a pitcher shoud always be on the same wavelength. The best catchers know what a pitcher should throw before he does and especially the placement of the pitch. If you are pitching and shaking your catcher twice a pitch, your going to throw off your rhythm. It's best to get the ball and throw rather than mess around. Mark Buerle is an example of this. It allows the pitcher to maintain a rhythm but also entices the batter to be on the same rhythm. The worst is when your shaking your catcher off two and three times and then the umpire calls time. Mentally you got to go back to square one. Thus, a catcher who knows the scouting report for each hitter is a must in the Major Leagues. Which always reminds of Varitek who has a huge binder with every hitter in the Major Leagues in it. He studies it every night before he catches. I hope the Reds catchers do something similar?

  12. #26
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    Re: Knowing how to pitch

    I wonder if the ball coming from upper left to lower right or upper right to lower left allows for a better view and more triangulation by the hitter than a pitch that travels a vertical plane or a horizontal plane.

  13. #27
    Member Ron Madden's Avatar
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    Re: Knowing how to pitch

    I'm most likely wrong again but...

    Way back when I always found it more difficult to hit any pitch that broke away. (or had any wrinkle to it at all in mt case).

  14. #28
    Member Spitball's Avatar
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    Re: Knowing how to pitch

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Madden
    I'm most likely wrong again but...

    Way back when I always found it more difficult to hit any pitch that broke away. (or had any wrinkle to it at all in mt case).
    Among the various things a pitcher can do with a good curveball is to make the batter instinctively pull back as the ball breaks away. The best way to hit the curve is to recognize the ball as a curve early enough to stay inside the ball and anticipate its break...or pray that is hangs out over the plate.
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  15. #29
    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: Knowing how to pitch

    Quote Originally Posted by Spitball
    Among the various things a pitcher can do with a good curveball is to make the batter instinctively pull back as the ball breaks away. The best way to hit the curve is to recognize the ball as a curve early enough to stay inside the ball and anticipate its break...or pray that is hangs out over the plate.
    Or stand in the batters box while your dad pitches and intentionally hits you over and over again to "toughen you up." That'll get rid of those pesky self-preservation instincts.

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