Basic General Advice


#1

I am a LHP at age 16 throwing about mid 70’s. I dont throw hard enough or have nasty enough stuff to strike guys out but I throw a lot of strikes and get guys to put the ball in play weakly. I struggled in a start today because I gave up a ton of 0-2 hits. Any suggestions on what to do 0-2 other than wasting a pitch because that only blows up my pitch count because I get so many guys 0-2. Need to find a way to put guys away somehow


#2

A lot of people have asked the same question, and a lot of others have given various responses, some helpful, others not so much. You say you don’t have the stuff you need to put those batters away once you’ve gotten them 0-2—I’m not so sure about that, and I’ll tell you a few things that may help. I had a wise and wonderful pitching coach who, when he introduced me to strategic pitching—and that’s what we’ve gotten into—he told me one important thing: “Figure out what the batter’s looking for—and don’t give it to him.” Now, the hard part is figuring out what he’s looking for, and the first step is to watch him and see if he’s changed position in any way in the batter’s box—if he’s doing something like moving closer to the front of the box, for example. That would give you a clue as to what not to feed him. Now think for a moment—you say you don’t have the stuff, but surely you have one pitch that you can use to get him to chase out of the strike zone, especially if he’s a good low-ball hitter who can’t handle the high pitches. Use that pitch. And if there’s none or one out, have our infield go to double-play depth and go for a grounder to one of the infielders.
And let me tell you one other thing: you just may be one of those finesse pitchers, not much on speed, but you have more than you think. My pitching coach, an active major league pitcher, used to give batters fits by taking even more off his stuff, and the end result was either a nice fat strikeout or a weak dribbler to the first baseman.
You might try a changeup for your 0-2 itch—just keep the ball away from the batter’s wheelhouse. Any more questions, I’m no farther away than my computer.


#3

One of the most effective two strike pitches for a finesse guy is the inside fastball. If you can get a guy to move his feet a bit 0-2 that outside corner starts to look WAY further away for something soft on 1-2. In your next bullpen commit to hitting the inner half - maybe even have a brave teammate stand in there.

Even if you throw slower than some, a batter will be shocked a bit by the ball coming at or near his hip. Backing him off the plate will make that tailing lefty fastball on the outer half look like a 40" bat is needed to hit it. The goal 0-2 is to make the batter uncomfortable.


#4

0-2 in youth ball, the batters are usually looking fastball but ready to adjust to a curveball that is very often thrown in this count if the pitcher owns one.

As Zita said, you have to go away from the hitter’s strengths. If you have the opportunity, watch and learn during the opponents’ BP. Get a feel for stance and stride as well as the hitters’ hand path to the ball. Do they keep their hands inside or outside? Are they open or closed? Slow or fast bat? Do they lunge at the ball or keep their weight balanced? These things and many more can help you navigate the 0-2 as well as the 2-0 pitch.

Keep the ball down and to the side of the plate opposite of the man covering second base if you have a runner on first.

You will become more successful 0-2.


#5

thank you very much sir i appreciate the help!