They'll Strike Themselves Out


For pitchers 16 years of age and older, in highly competitive ball, here’s something to look for when facing batters.

A batter will actually strike himself out - IF you know where to look and when to take advantage of it.

Some batters have the tendency to dip their back knee DOWN on every incoming pitch, or at a minimum, on a pitch that they think might be in the strike zone - then they hesitate.

For example, take a look at our picture below. This batter actually dipped his knee DOWN, right into the path of that incoming pitch - STRIKE!

A greater percentage of the time, the batter will argue that the umpire has a very low strike zone and NO WAY that was a strike. By the way, plate umpires are not in the game to explain the rules or anything close to it.

A batter’s frustration will usually lead to a mindset that has the batter thinking… " Geessh… I better swing at anything that’s down. I’ll probably be called out on strikes any way."

So, pay attention to the movements of a batter’s back knee. This is more common than you think.


Akin to this is the batter who starts to swing and holds up but the pitch is in there anyway. Then watch him lose his cool! This often happens on an 0-2 or a 1-2 count. :slight_smile:


I had a man that was a master at spotting that in a batter. His memory was like a snapshot in time - forever.

I got to the point where I wouldn’t even say “good morning” to the man, being that he was in the zone so much , all of the time. One of the most sober individuals that I’ve ever met. (next to my Mrs. anyway.)

We had turnovers in backstops on a regular basis, from year to year, and even club to club. Didn’t matter to this man. He’d ignore the signs anyway. He knew instinctively what to “shove down his throat,” as he’d put it.

I learned a lot watching him work. He was one of the only pitchers that I’ve ever watched that would deliberately loose control and couldn’t hit the strike zone if it was painted on his chest. Then I’d watch three batters in a row go down looking - figuring he was having control problems. A master at work, a real master.

If it wasn’t for his temper and mood swings, he would have been with the affiliates at a minimum.