Catching a Batter Off-Guard!

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A pitcher gives a wind up. The ball appears to be going in a straight path. The batter locks on to the ball getting ready to hit it out of the park, and out of nowhere, like magic, the ball changes direction and batter gets a big whiff of air. You have just seen a curve-ball.

Throwing a curve-ball may seem hard, but all you need is to know the right mechanics and the right way to hold the ball. Curve-balls and other pitches that you throw the same way are known for hurting a pitchers arm if you are not careful. Other pitches, like sliders, cutters, and change-ups, are called off-speed pitches that you may use to throw off a batter at the plate. Often, people call pitches like these breaking balls because of their break in velocity. Throwing pitches like these may seem impossible, but all you need is to know how to throw the ball right, and that is what this article is going to show.

                                                                                                Fastball

Pitching is advanced, but if you learn the correct way to throw different pitches, it will be a matter of if you throw strikes or not. First, you must learn how to throw a fastball. It is the basic pitch and everyone in the majors is able to throw a fastball. If you want to throw a fastball, first, you should only use three fingers, your thumb, index, and middle finger. Turn the baseball as if all the seams were horizontal if you spun it vertically. Put your fingers over the seams. Four seams will run down the baseball in this position. The ball goes straight and fast because of the grip. All of the seams are running down with no weird spin to it. This is why the ball goes straight and fast. This is why it is called a four-seam fastball which is the most basic pitch.

                                                                                              Curve-ball

Throwing a curve-ball is simple, but the spin is the most important part of the pitch.  First, place your middle finger along the bottom seam of the baseball and place your thumb on the back seam. When this pitch is thrown, your thumb should rotate upward, and your middle finger should snap downward while your pointer finger points in the direction of your target. When you throw the ball your hand should turn as if you were doing a karate chop and throw the ball at a target above the place where you want to throw it. This allows the ball to spin down into the target. You have to practice this pitch, but it’s very useful against opposing players.

 

                                                                                               Slider

 

A slider is like a curve-ball except the movement and spin is different. First you have to know how to throw a fastball which is simple. Everyone that has played baseball before knows how to throw it. A slider is a little different. You have to put your fingers like you are throwing a fastball and move your fingers together and a little to the right. When you throw the pitch, the ball should roll off of your index finger and that’s what gives you the spin. The slider is basically a fastball and curve-ball combined. Sliders are a very effective pitch, but you have to remember that the spin comes from the release between the index finger and the thumb.

 Change-Up

Change-ups are the simplest off-speed pitch to throw, but it still takes a lot of practice.  You should throw a change-up like you do a fastball. First, you make an “ok” sign with your hand. Then, put your hand around the ball with you pinkie, ring finger, and middle finger. The index and thumb should make a circle. This is called a circle change-up. Throw it exactly like you do a fastball. You must aim high above the catcher’s glove so it drops into there. You don’t have to change your motion or how hard you throw it. The grip itself changes the velocity. Change-ups are very effective and don’t hurt your arm like curve-balls that could hurt because of the snap of the wrist, and when thrown the batter thinks it is a fastball, and suddenly changes speeds and drops.

Pitching is one of or if not the most important positions on the field. You have to have great pitching to win. Pitching is the main part of defense. It could hurt your team by giving up hits or walks. These pitches will definitely help you if you want to be a pitcher. As a pitcher, it is a battle between you and the batter. Half of the battle is skill and half of the battle is mental strength. It is an amazing feeling striking someone out or getting them out in general which is why many love being the leader on the diamond. Becoming a pitcher is difficult, but if you put in the work, you can become a force on the mound.

Cites Used:

https://www.pprune.org/tech-log/110517-why-ball-middle.html

https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/a-ball-struck-by-a-cue-in-billiards-with-english-goes-straight-at-first.897911/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossary_of_English-language_idioms_derived_from_baseball

https://www.englishclub.com/vocabulary/sports-baseball.htm

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