Best ways to steal a strike out

Here’s something for high school guys. What if your fastbasll is not overpowering and your breaking ball is not a knee buckling curve. There are still time when you need a strike out. There are a lot of guys who can get strike 2, but can not seal the deal.

Here are 4 ways to get “the third strike.”

  1. Change-Up low

  2. Drop down to sidearm on your curve

  3. Chin high 4 seamer

  4. Slider low and away ( late HS)

  5. A change up down is an excellent way to get a swinging third strike. This can be set up with the sequence sinking fastball 2 seamer for strike 1, 4 seamer up for strike 2, then you throw the slow one. You changed the batters eye level. Even if you miss and the batter does not swing, the next fastball is going to look plenty fast!

  6. Dropping down to sidearm is a great way to get a called strike three for batters that hit from the same side that you throw from. May will bail out. Many fine ptichers have used this strategy today Bronson Arroyo and Orlando “El Duque” Henandez are masters of this strategy.

  7. The old “Climbing the ladder” sequence is timeless and still works: at the numbers, chin high, eye high. It the batter hits it, it will probably be a pop up in the infield.

  8. Ted Willaims called the Slider the… well cant say it in the forum. Thrown low and away, it is hard to see and not picked up as easy as a curve. Could be used in a sequence of Strike one-curve ball, strike two -high 4 seamer-then throw the slider low and away. Best the batter can do is tap it to the right side. If they lay off-you are set up for anything!

These were my tried and true what do you guys do?

i have had success over the years with the changeup also.
another pitch that is good, is throwing a two-seam fastball right on the outside part of the plate… if you stay inside on the ball when you throw, then the ball will start outside of the plate and cut back over the plate, and usually most guys swing inside of the pitch or just even look at the pitch go by because they think it is too far outside to be called a strike.

Yeah, I saw guys do this with good success, and more power to them. I wish I could have pulled this one off.

My fastball tended to hop more than veer. When I went 2 seam and turned it over it sank. I was always afraid of missing up and over the heart of the plate, so I didn’t use this one.

I am happy it is working for you! Ian.

As simple as it sounds, the easiest way to get a strike called at a HS level in any count is to place the ball right in your catchers glove. If you’ve been throwing strikes most all day, it’s great to have your catcher set up in a gap and if you hit that… almost guaranteed strike.

Personally I always liked to shake off the FB a couple times only to come back with it. I teach that to my younger pitchers now and there’s no question it puts enough doubt it the hitters mind that it makes them less agressive … pitching = deception.

Yeah, that’s good psychology, You can also dig around in your glove and then throw your best fastball too, Ian.

if you are left handed, pitch from the left side of the rubber. If you are right handed, pitch from the right side of the rubber. Your pitches will look like a sidearm pitcher’s, coming at the batter then right into the strike zone.