Thursday Throwing Tips
Defining the Art of Pitching
Pitching a baseball is often described as art, partly because of the beauty of the pitching motion, but more often, the art of pitching describes the ability of the pitcher to act as a crafty artist, who paints the edges of the strike zone with beautifully carved pitches. In addition, the ability to get hitters out not only involves the basics of pitching – location, speed, speed changes and movement – but also the art of “setting hitters up” and “outfoxing” them.
There is so much more to getting batters out than just throwing strikes and throwing the ball by hitters, especially as pitchers progress to the higher levels of baseball. Hitters learn to adjust to pitchers, so pitchers must adjust to hitters to equally to maintain the edge they have.
Keys to Learning the Art of Pitching
- Working with catcher to figure out the best way to get batters out
- Knowledge of the particular hitter’s strength and weaknesses
- Knowledge of self’s pitching strengths and weaknesses
- Throwing pitches up and down in strike zone, as well as inside and outside – knowledge of hitters strengths helps determine if up or down is more important, or in and out, if not both
- Knowing the game situation for what resulting ball put-in-play would be best; sometimes a ground ball is needed; other times a strike out or pop up best suits the situation
Pitchers, who develop a true art of pitching, have a way of getting hitters to hit the pitches they want them to hit. This art gives them the best chance at throwing beautiful masterpieces of pitching efficiency.
Of course, the pitching skills of speed, speed changes, location, and movement are what pitchers use to set hitters up and outfox them in the ways mentioned, with location being the key most of the time. As pitchers gain experience they begin to understand a hitter’s mindset more, and along with the knowledge of the strategy of baseball, they paint beautiful pitching works of art.