[color=red]1. Overview of the sinker and tailing/sweeping/running fastball
2. Gripping the pitch
3. Arm slot and behavior
4. Pictures and quotes of sinker-ballers
5. Additional and miscellaneous information
[size=9]*Note- Most of this information has been handed down to me or found elsewhere on the internet. In my attempt to learn more about this pitch, I figured I may aswell help the countless others who have asked the same questions that I have. [/size]
1. Overview of the sinker / 2 seamed fastball
-The terms "2 seam fastball" and "sinker" can be used interchangeably (for the most part. essentially, we're looking for a fastball that moves down, in, or both)
-The main points of emphasis are to:
>Keep the ball low in the zone *Together, these combine to induce more ground balls and less home runs. This can also be very important when it comes to triggering double plays
>Generate late movement
2. Gripping the sinker
The following points are mainly accepted by all sinker ball pitchers.
-The sinker is gripped slightly tighter and deeper in the hand than the 4 seam fastball
-When the grip is tighter it makes for more friction between the ball and the hand upon release. Though it may be slower, the ball will have more time to move or run back to the throwing arm side
-Many pitchers attribute the movement of their pitch to the pressure they apply to the ball (typically pressing harder with the index finger)
The following are preferred grips by different pitchers. The best way to see which one works for you is to try them.
-hold the ball more on the inside part of the ball (closest to them). This can also be called "over-loading"
-hold the ball in the traditional 2 seam grip (as seen in figure 1-A), but slide the middle finger toward their index finger.
-position the thumb to different sides of the ball (left or right, more or less), or by lining up the thumb against the ball. Greg Maddux bends his thumb and holds the ball with the knuckle (see figure 1-B). Mike Mussina gets a very quick tail on his fastball by lifting his middle finger off the ball and placing the thumb underneath the middle finger side of the ball, as shown in figure 1-C.
-Most prefer the thumb directly under the ball, with the fingers either along the parallel seams or between them (just the leather part)
-In figure 2-A, Carlos Zambrano shows his sinker grip (for a splitfinger-like break). He places his middle finger over the large bend in the "horseshoe" and with his index finger's pad on the lace.
[size=9]The traditional 2 seam fastball grip[/size][/color]
[size=9]Greg Maddux and the bent thumb grip[/size][/color]
[size=9]Mike Mussina and the lifted middle finger (no bird-flipping, mind you)[/size][/color]
3. Arm slot and behavior
-It is commonly accepted that a lower arm slot, such as 3/4 or side arm, will make for a greater side-to-side movement.
-As I will try to show with some of the pictures below, many sinker ballers release the ball fairly far in front of them, closer to the plate.
-Though lower arm slots may induce more movement, that does not mean over-handers can't throw it. Mike Mussina and Greg Maddux, shown above, are about as "overhand" as they come.
4.Pictures and quotes of sinker-ballers
[size=9]Notice the loose grip in comparison to Maddux and Mussina[/size]
[size=9]Notice that the ball is significantly facing home plate. As he rotates his shoulders and releases the ball, he will pronate (or rotate his hand thumb-down) his wrist/forearm to create a more counterclockwise spin (edit needed?).[/size]
Chien Ming Wang
[size=9]Notice that his arm is well out in front of his body[/size]
[size=9]Carlos sticks his pinky up in the air on every pitch[/size]
[size=9]Carlos Zambrano on his sinker grips[/size][/color]
[size=9]What better way to show pronation? Cook, below, has thrown through the inner part of the ball.[/size]
Tips as to how to make this post better are appreciated.
[color=darkblue]Special Thanks to:
The Complete Pitcher
the many posters on this board who have helped[/color]