A thread about curveballs on another coard has interested me in starting a conversation about types, philosophies, and strategies of breaking balls (which includes curveballs and sliders).
As I see it, pitchers throw a number of different types of breaking balls…
The High Dropper
This is a breaking ball that looks like it’s going to miss high but then drops into the strike zone. Often moves 12-6.
This is a breaking pitch which looks like it’s going to nick the lower outside part of the plate but that drops down and out at the last second.
The “Oh Snap” Curve
This is a ball that looks like it’s coming directly at the batter’s head but then dives into the strike zone. Often moves 1-7 or 2-8 to RH batter.
The “Hit It If You Can” Curve
This is a pitch (e.g. Sandy Koufax curve or even Eephus pitch) that is obviously a curveball but is hard to hit due to its movement. Often moves 12-6.
The Split-Finger Fastball or Splitter
This is a pitch that looks like a fastball that is going to nick the bottom of the strike zone but which dives down just before reaching the plate. Often moves 12-6.
The Cut Fastball or Cutter
This is a pitch that looks like a fastball but that moves horizontally left or right. A cutter can be thrown just outside of the strike zone and move just inside the strike zone (to induce a called strike) or can be thrown just inside the strike zone and move just outside the strike zone (to induce a broken bat).
This is a pitch that, when thrown by a RHP to a RHB, moves down and in (like a reverse slider) and, when thrown by a LHP to a RHB, moves down and down (like a regular slider).