Just got back from a Tourney with the son. He pitched very well but he noticed that the opposing team was crowding the plate. He hit three batters and even though they did not score the opposing coach was saying he did it intentionally. I have always taught my son that you have to pitch inside to be effective especially since he is thowing alot of fastballs. The team was down a few runs and wanted to get on base any way they could. Well it worked somewhat but I am proud of the fact that he did not stray away from the low inside fastball.
First, the batter has to attempt to get out of the way. He also can’t try to get hit while in the strike zone.
Second, the goal of pitching inside is to drive batters off the plate to increase the effectiveness of outside (and low) pitches.
Third, when batters are crowding the plate, it becomes even more important that the pitcher focuses on the glove.
I already know all three points. My point is that these kids were trying to get on base anyway they could. Even if it meant taking one in the elbow. In order to be effective you have to throw inside. That is your plate not the guy who is digging in there trying to get on base.
Bum I don’t know what state you are from but I can tell you that at least in Florida it has been an issue of importance with the Fla H.S A.A. for a couple of years. Some HS teams I’ve seen coach a kid to that spot and they get a ton of crap if they move, my advice to my son is to put a fastball right under the chin, get them a little less eager and then bring 12 to 6 action on the inside corner…works like a charm…next batter isn’t too eager either after watching the previous guy getting off balance like that. Slider for the 2nd pitch works too. Or you can walk it further outside and low with heat and come back with a good change moving from the heart to inside. Anyway you are right, we have to be able to work inside or it’s gonna get like softball and we’ll be stuck with home run limits and stuff.
…and IF you’re going to miss, miss inside . But it’s a learned skill, watching the guys in the show today it’s one the most glaring weaknesses i see , the inability to pitch inside. IMO, some may be an indirect result of growing up pitching to alluminum bats …
You have to establish the inside part of the plate especially against aluminum bats if batters are crowding the plate run one in on them. Its a mental war out there and if you can get the hitter thinking about a ball coming at him its another advantage for you as a pitcher.
The only time I don’t like my guys to throw inside is on 0-2 counts. Too many negative outcomes. Hit the batter, leave it on too much of the plate and get hit hard. Some coaches teach pitchers to throw high inside fastballs on 0-2. The first reaction of the hitter out of the hand is to not swing. I want the hitter on his heels and thinking about protecting on 0-2. I prefer hard at the letters or a few inches outside if you are going to go out of the zone with a fastball.
You guys are right though, throwing inside is a very important aspect of becoming a winning pitcher. Throwing at guys isn’t.
Coach Delunas, how ironic. The son pitched a gem this past weekend in a Tourney down here in San Diego. But hit two players on 0-2. Coach wanted to go absolutely bonkers but he pitched a great game nonetheless. After the game I asked him what happened. He said," I wanted to strike them out and not waste pitches. I wanted to place my inside fastball?".
The cool thing about all of this is he is throwing alot of fastballs and locating. He is shying away from the curveball and throws the changeup in different situations. The two seamer tails in on RH batters so I wasn’t surprised when he nicked a couple of players. :lol:
It sounds as if he has the right attitude about “going at” guys. I like the aggresiveness on the mound. I also am a big believer in not wasting 0-2 pitches. You’ve got the hitter on his heels, make him think about swinging. Hitters are more likely to try and make contact on 0-2 instead of driving the ball. So let them make contact on your pitch and take the out if you can get it. There are times to go for the strike out, but I think that strikeouts happen as a result of movement in the zone and attacking hitters. I teach my juco pitchers to step back when they get to 0-2 and focus on the best way to get the hitter out. That they have their entire arsenal of pitches to use. Too often, there is no thought process that goes into making a quality 0-2 pitch. Tell him to keep up the good work!
Greg Maddux is still one of my favorite guys to watch throw 0-2 pitches. He has a great approach and young pitchers can really learn from the way he goes about it.
Amen Coach Delunas! A waste pitch is another tic on the pitch count too, why not let the guy get himself out. Bums kid did the right thing in pitching his game, I just watched two of the best hitters on our varsity (Both crowd the plate and have success), watch strike three on an inside and above the belt fastballs, they just couldn’t react to a good pitcher with a plan.
I am also a “brush back” pitcher. If I fell that they hitter is crowding the plate then I will throw a heater inside and he will eventually back up and so will the other hitters. After all, it is a mental game and it is the pitchers plate and you have to take control the plate. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that.
Just be cautious though. As you get older, those hitters who crowd the plate tend to want to be pitched inside. Think Carl Everett or Barry Bonds. The guys who are back off the plate like the ball out away from them. Think Jeff Kent. This is not always true at the high school level or below though.
Throwing on the inner half of the plate means you have to be dead on with your pitches because as Coach pointed out good hitters are looking for inside fastballs and if you dont get that ball in on there hands lookout. Im a big believer in using the inside part of the plate early in the count to back hitters off and keep them guessing it establishes everything else.
next time he wants to get somebody off the plate, have him throw it at their feet…not to hit them but they’ll be so jumpy after that, that you will absolutely own the inner half of the plate…and as long as the 2-seam is tailing in on the righty throw it just off the black and you’ll get a swinging strike. On 0-2 you can throw up and in to open the curve down and away right up…