I was wondering if anyone had any articles on a pitching chart that tells me the best pitch to throw, when to throw it, recognizing weakness in hitters. Sequences… (ex. fastball away, curveball away, curve away, fastball high and in) something like that! if anyone has anything it would greatly be appreciated! thanks!
Search the articles section of this site. But, of course, you also just described this book
Heelan13, we are now getting into strategic pitching.
What pitches to throw and when and where to throw them depends a lot on the game situation—whether or not there are runners on base, the proclivities of the hitters you’re facing, their strengths and weaknesses—things like that. Let’s look at the last-named first. Is the guy a good low-ball hitter, and does he have a tendency to golf the pitch if he can get good wood on it? Or is he a high fast-ball hitter who has trouble with the low ones? That alone should tell you where to pitch him. Of course, if it’s someone like Yogi Berra who would go after anything he felt he could get a piece of—maybe the best thing to do is throw the ball under the plate, as many suggested at the time. Seriously, you do need to know what’s what with the batter. Next, is he a dead pull hitter who wouldn’t hit to the opposite field if he stood on his head—or is hitting to the opposite field a specialty of his? Or is he a hitter who doesn’t care where you throw it, because he hits to all fields—and I’ve seen a lot of them. In each case, again you need to know what’s with this guy. As to what pitches to throw him—there was a time when word got around the National League that Stan Musial did not like sliders, and so the opposing pitchers fed him nothing but, and he kept hitting them on his fists and popping them up. But then there are those who seem not to have any weakness at all, who will hit any pitch they can get a piece of—there’s always the intentional pass and go after the next guy.
Ed Lopat was telling me about ways to spot a potential weakness on the part of the batter. For instance: is he a plate-crowder, or does he hit with his foot in the bucket—pull away from the plate as he swings? Does he choke up on the bat, perhaps give some indication that he might bunt, or does he hold the bat way down on the handle? Is his swing short and compact, or is it a long one?—very often the latter can be easier to get out. Does he shift his feet, perhaps from one pitch to another, or does he move up closer to the front of the batter’s box or way back in the corner? These are all things to consider—and it might be a good idea to get together with your catcher before the start of the game and go over the opposition lineup.
As to what pitch—Lopat once said “You figure out what the batter is looking for—and don’t give it to him.” And Babe Ruth, who knew what he was talking about, said that a good changeup will cause batters more grief than anything else. So unless you can absolutely overpower the hitter with a 98MPH heater, go to the breaking stuff; decide what your best pitch is and use it for all it’s worth. There’s a lot more, but you have the idea. 8) :baseballpitcher:
One of my favorite things to look at with a hitter is how close to the plate he is. The hitter is always trying to cover up his weakness, so a hitter who is on the plate is trying to cover the outside, and he clearly trusts his hands inside.
The hitter who is off the plate wants to extend his arms and is protecting himself inside–he wants the ball away.
General rule, but still helpful.
Note to palo20: Exactly! What you want to do with a hitter who is aiming to hit to the opposite field is pitch him way inside—jam him. On the other hand, when a batter is looking for an inside pitch , you want to go outside with him—and pitch him high, so he will not only hit it off the end of the bat but also pop it up. In addition, a high pitch, whether inside or outside, is probably the most difficult thing for a batter to try to bunt, so if you suspect he’s going to try that, go up and out of the strike zone. I used to do that a lot, and the end result was a bunt foul on strike two and an automatic out.
Another nice thing to do, when you’re facing a power hitter (or at least he thinks he is), is something he doesn’t expect—take even more off your pitches. What’s bound to happen is either a big fat strikeout or a weak dribbler to the first baseman! Ed Lopat told me about how he would deal with someone like Walt Dropo, who thought he was a power hitter; he would take even more off his breaking stuff, with the end result being a strikeout or a grounder to first, and as Dropo would return to the dugout foaming at the mouth Lopat would yell at him “Dropo, you’re just a lousy hitter!” :lol: