Does it make sense to waste 0-2 pitches?

I’ve said no for years, but this statistic may suggest otherwise:

I still like to see aggressive 0-2 pitches, what about you?

On occasion it might. I have done it a couple of times, usually to see if the batter is looking for a particular pitch. I remember the first time I used my newly acquired slider—it was in a relief appearance when I had to come into the game in the seventh inning to replace our starting pitcher who had to leave the game due to a blister. I retired the first batter I faced on three pitches, but the next one was a guy who would go after the first pitch no matter where it was. I went 0-and-2 on him with a curve ball which he fouled off and a knuckle-curve which he missed by a mile, and then I thought I’d throw one outside the strike zone just to see how he would react—so I threw a changeup about a foot outside. The batter didn’t move, and I got the impression that he was looking for a fast ball. I said to myself, “No way is he going to get one from me, because I don’t have one”—and I got him on a crossfire slider. Side retired.
Yes, it can be a good way to determine if the batter is sitting on a particular pitch, especially if you’ve never faced him before. Otherwise I’ll just go for the good old strikeou 8) :slight_smile: t!

[quote=“Steven Ellis”]I’ve said no for years, but this statistic may suggest otherwise:

I still like to see aggressive 0-2 pitches, what about you?[/quote]

You’ve fallen into the same trap almost all coaches, players, and fans who participate in or watch the amateur game have, when they look at and analyze baseball statistics. I know many people on this site don’t think very highly of what knowledge, insight, or advice I have to offer, but if there’s nothing else in I ever say that’s believed, believe this.


The game is not played the same at any of the amateur levels, and the average player in the ML is so far superior to any amateur level, the numbers simply won’t work. They may trend the same, but when you’re talking about looking at numbers where a difference of hundredths or thousandths is really significant, trying to extrapolate 1:1 is just looking for trouble.

What you have to do when you examine questions like this, is to 1st define the level you’re talking about, then examine data for that level only. The trouble is, I don’t know of many sources of that kind of meticulous data for any amateur level.

There’s so many problems with that article, I hardly know where to start. FI, is it talking about only 3rd pitches on 0-2, or does it count all pitches on 0-2, even if they’re the 10th pitch in at bat?

Another problem is, what’s the definition of a “waste” pitch? Is it one that’s just not in the strike zone and not swung at. Is it a strike but not in the strike zone? Does it attempt to determine if the “wasted” pitch was done purposely or not?

That trap you’ve fallen into has caught everyone at one time or another, so don’t feel too badly. Its more often than not, until one plays with these numbers for years that they realize what kind of tenuous mess they get into by extrapolating the numbers.

From what I can see after extensive study over more than a decade of messing with HS numbers, is your 1st thought is the correct one. Get rid of that hitter ASAP!

It is true, one answer probably isn’t the only answer, and the level of play most likely changes the ideal answer.
For me, as a high school soon to be college player, a simple idea has worked wonders for coach and myself: Don’t have anything in mind!
A good coach will most likely keep a chart or mental note as to what the other teams pitcher is doing. If your gonna throw a high fastball ever 0-2 count, you probably wont get anything out of it. In my opinion, “waste” pitch is a terrible name for it, because if your throwing it with no desire for a meaning, it shouldn’t be thrown at all! To me, said pitch should make a player chase, move in the box, or change their mentality. If your going to throw a fastball, move it one way, outside at the belt, high but over the plate, ect. Most times high AND outside won’t do anything except add a pitch to your count.
Bottom line, don’t acually WASTE your waste pitch. :slight_smile: use it to set up something or develop the count.

my son isnt an overpowering pitcher. used to have an almost unbelivable ball strike ratio. started getting more strikeouts when we started throwing pitches out of the strikezone sometimes even way out of the stikezone like at the eyes of oversized 12 yr olds, strated getting more hits that were hit off the handle and end of bat for weak popups and weak dribbler. Iam a firm believer in pitching balls