Strikes and Batting % Vs Pitching %

In a prior post I explained why it was so important to deliver strikes. I also gave a very short summary of the cause
and effects that strikes have in the game overall.

Below is a mathematical representation of why strikes are so important to a pitcher’s survival.

First let’s consider the batter’s side of the equation and how that relates to the batting order that you’ll face.

Notice along the top, is a short explanation - reasoning out the batting order, how many batters you will face - four (4) per inning,
and their chances of success based on batting averages that decline as each batter goes deeper into the order. At the bottom of the
analysis you’ll notice that inning per inning, you’ll face these batting averages with a declining percentages on their side and increases
in your MARGIN for success. So, overall you have a 77% margin of success and the opposing batting order has a 23% margin of success.

The graph at the very bottom shows you how to gauge your endurance and manage the opposing batting order inning by inning.
Along the top bar of the graph are the innings, and directly under the innings are pitch counts, progressively accumulating. Along the
side are the batting %’s of success that you’ll face based on the highest of 300% batting average for the first four batters, then less
so for those batters that follow. Along the bottom of the graph is your endurance. Notice how during the first four innings you should be
facing progressively less in the talent department so your pitch count and endurance should reflect a high degree of success. Also, as you
progress into the fifth inning and beyond, you endurance lessens as you start to face the better batting % all over again.

When a pitcher gets into trouble, normally his/her worse showing is in the bottom half of the batting order,
which compounds trouble as the top of the order follows. Over pitching and getting too fancy with the lower ends of a batting
order is usually the cause.

Study the two displays and print them out if you can.
Think through what’s being displayed and your overall approach to the pitcher’s position. Also, take special note of how you can use the
graph below -“The Pitcher’s Side of the Equation” to gauge your work or that of the pitcher’s under your charge. For example, if you or your pitcher
comes out of the second inning with only a 10 pitch count, you or the pitcher that your coaching is ahead of the scale by 22 pitches.
Endurance wise you or your pitcher is doing fairly well. So, this sliding scale can be used as a pretty good indicator of what’s going on
inning per inning and as a projection of what’s to come.

I know a lot more goes into the pitching game then the simple displays below, but both are an excellent start towards polishing off
the skills necessary to reason out the pitcher’s position in competitive baseball.

Coach B.

While all this holds true, the hitter holds an advantage in that he can score with one swing of the bat. the pitcher cannot go 3 up 3 down with one good pitch. the double play certainly helps, but is is no shape an equalizer.

There are exceptions and variations to the equation as the level of play increases talent wise, but, under no circumstances does the batter hold any advantage in any situation.

Batting averages are the true indication of overall sucess, the impact to the game’s movement and so forth.

Pitchers that neglect the simple math as displayed above risk the scales tilting in the other direction. Yes, one swing of the bat does support your view and opinion - but a narrow view it is. Nor does it reflect the major focus of all pitching coaches, the progress of those who have made it to professional ball, and above all the record books.

Strikes are the bread and butter product of a pitcher - plain and simple. Those that understand the math … live the math. Not one swing at a time, but one strike at a time.

As pitchers progress up and polish their craft, the strike plays as a center piece of their work. Other pitches designed to “set-up” batters, ground outs, pitches to the bunts, etc., all get their starting points from the strike.
And that starting point begins with basic math … do the math … throw the strikes … learn as you get better hitting the strike zone,… and the math is on your side. Do the math chew … do the math.

Coach B.

The following pitches can be delivered for strikes:
FB down and in
FB down and away
FB high and in
FB high and away
FB - sinker
FB - screwball
Slider -backdoor
Curve ball - tight bite
Curve ball - lazy curve

Strikes with varying speeds and locations are the next step that progressive pitchers use to hone the %’s of batter Vs pitcher, in their favor. The % figures don’t say any less. Go with what works, don’t complicate the process. Start by working the strike, and work it faithfully. Yes in the beginning you’ll get dinged, we all did. But as you hone the strike zone, and work it well enough to be confident to now work the corners, work other pitches using the FB strike as your foundation, you’ll step up to a much higher level of accomplishment - the figures will start to bend in your favor, then will stay that way…

Coach B.

One goal I set for myself that I simply refuse to compromise on is being able to throw all four of my pitches for strikes consistently. If I can’t throw my change up for a strike at will, for instance, all the hitter has to do is recognize it and let it pass by for a ball.

Hitters don’t have to respect any pitch that you can’t throw for a strike.

Again, take the change up. It is definitely my weakest pitch as far as control. I have just recently got the hang of throwing it correctly and control is something I’m diligently working on with it. Until I can throw it for a strike at will, I don’t fully consider it as an established pitch in my repertoire.

[quote=“CSamuel”]One goal I set for myself that I simply refuse to compromise on is being able to throw all four of my pitches for strikes consistently. If I can’t throw my change up for a strike at will, for instance, all the hitter has to do is recognize it and let it pass by for a ball.

That’s exactly what it takes to move up in the ranks of baseball through college and into pro ball.