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Discussion: BEST PITCH TO THROW

Posted Discussion
Dec. 11, 2009
TGIII
Men's 60
89 posts
BEST PITCH TO THROW
I have never seen this question asked and I'm not sure pitchers will share their secrets, but here goes. What is the best pitch you throw to get batters out? I find a lot of pitchers throw low, flat, and outside. From the hitters out there, where do you hit a low, flat, outside pitch? Just wondering?
Dec. 11, 2009
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
Having pitched for 36 years, including Open, A, and a little Major+, I am not sure there is an answer to this. It all depends on so many things.

Ask Nolan Ryan and Bert Blyleven the same question, and you will get different yet equally effective answers.
Dec. 11, 2009
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
By the way, to answer your second question unless you are playing Utrip you just sit back and take the flat (illegal) pitch.
Dec. 11, 2009
spoonplugger
Men's 60
56 posts
Dirty, will you join a SSUSA team if they go easy on the bat/ball combo for you? You might be able to feed your EGO for another 30 or so years.
Dec. 11, 2009
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
My "ego", what there is of it, has nothing to do with the bats and/or balls. Strictly about winning.

I started playing with 38oz. aluminum bats and cork-centered balls, so there was certainly no ego involved with that equipement. And, looking back, we had just as good of a time back then as we do now.
Dec. 11, 2009
stick8
1238 posts
I'm not a pitcher but I'm very familiar with how the best in the country try to work different hitters--Andy Purcell & Scooter Nastally to name a couple. Answers to your questions:
1)I'm not sure there is one definitive answer. Some of it is based on knowledge of the hitters strengths and how the defense is set up. It also depends on how the ump is calling the strike zone. Most of the good pitchers will try to get you to hit their pitch which usually isn't your favorite pitch. It's not to say they can't make a mistake but Purcell and Nastally will make less mistakes then the run of the mill pitchers. They can make also make any pitch close enough to be believable--especially when you have a strike (or two) and have to keep it fair.
Overrall we're still talking SLOW pitch. Good hitters are going to get their hits no matter what.
2)I won't swing at a low, flat, outside pitch.
Dec. 11, 2009
spoonplugger
Men's 60
56 posts
Just answer the question-like you insist so many others do. After that you can go backpeddle in front of the mirror at the Y and admire yourself some more.
Dec. 11, 2009
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
Sorry, I didn't realize you were being an a-hole.

No.

Now can I go back to actually trying to improve myself without just sitting around drinking, eating, and relying on other's technology and goofy rules?
Dec. 11, 2009
green rocket
51 posts
Sort of an open ended question but a good one. Coming from an umpire, I would say any pitcher who uses both ends of the strike zone, i.e. one who uses the high pitch and the low ones.

A pitcher who pitches the same type of pitch over and over will sooner or later get hammered with the batter knowing whats coming next.

Slow pitch, your at the mercy of the batter anyway.

Now the other key is when to toss that certain pitch. Having two strikes on the batter and tossing a totally flat (and fast) pitch can fool the batter and the ump. The ump better be ready, cause if he misses calling it illegal the batter and team will be all over him for missing the call.

If I were a pitcher, I'd do it. I don't blame them one bit.

Some that toss that knuckle ball in a breeze gets some hellacious breaks on the lob ball at times.
Dec. 11, 2009
SCRAPPY6
55 posts
I will give a different perspective to ths thread. I am a catcher on teams that have won Nationals, Worlds, Triple
Grand Slam, etc. and this is what I have observed in every division from AA to Majors.
The catcher can help the pitcher at times. If a pitcher does not throw at least 4-5 illegal pitches in a game he is letting the batters see the same old stuff. Remember, this is basically adult T-ball.
When the batter is in the front of the box I like the pitcher to throw him some deep pitches. If he is the back of the box I call for short pitches. Away from the plate pitch him on outside and short. Close to the plate, jam him and deep. This does not work for all hitters but it might get them to hit your pitch. After you see a batter a couple of times you can sometimes spot a weakness or a pitch that they like to tee off on. Don't give him that pitch if at all possible. On another note if bases are empty and you got a big hitter up give him that good pitch and let him use up his home run.
Scrappy6
Dec. 11, 2009
Omar Khayyam
958 posts
I wonder if pitchers consciously or subconsciously throw a pitch that they, as hitters, don't like? I've batted well against a pitcher who threw everything short. Turns out he doesn't like short pitches himself (but I do). I've been given a lower inside ball, one that I love to pull, and again, that pitcher hated it. I don't like high pitches back by my shoulder, and yes, that is what I throw a lot!

That said, an awful lot depends on the ump. How high an arc will he give you? How flat will he tolerate? To my surprise, about half the umps who give you a high pitch will call a legal low pitch "illegal." Only the best umps know the full range of the pitching zone and call both low and high strikes when they are legal.

Playing with the mat, we have very little problem with umps correctly judging inside and outside, short and deep pitches. The ball hit it or it didn't (although we have a few umps who give you the "width of the ball" brush pitch that doesn't really hit the mat, especially on a windy day). But again, with wind, I love to pitch the knuckleball.

But as was said, it is SLOW pitch and a good hitter will rip anything. I have had ONE no-hitter in my many years, and that was the year of the unlimited arc. Playing mostly on AA or AAA teams over the years, I have had very few shutouts. Takes a good defense to pitch a shutout.
Dec. 11, 2009
taits
Men's 65
4251 posts
Scrappy6,
You got to right...
Seasons Greeting to you and your wife.
Dec. 11, 2009
ill41
Men's 60
11 posts
I've pitched for 42 years,by just watching wear the batter stands in the box is a good indication where he is going with it.You have to mix up all your pitches.If he's on top of the plate,he likes to pull it,jam him inside or hit the outside corner.Move your pitches all the time.
Dec. 11, 2009
E4/E6
Men's 60
850 posts
As a hitter I really thank all of you for the insight. I'll be looking for you. =)
Actually almost everything being said here works very well, however the issue of where the batter is standing is a bit deceiving, many of us with long arms do stand away from the plate further then the average hitter. With this stance we have far more coverage of good and bad pitches.
Throw me inside and high with two strikes and I'll probably be walking back to the dougout as the ball falls into the SS's glove.
Dec. 11, 2009
green rocket
51 posts
Scrappy 6, you're a thinking man's catcher! ...and to think they sometimes put a weak link or a player with an injury back there. Not in your case!

Back to umping: for me a pitcher that is consistanly high or low....I won't give him that borderline pitch because that is what I've been looking for, a constant high or low pitch. Now, if you mix it up and toss a low or high borderline pitch, chances are I'll give you the strike.

...and as I say to both teams before the game: swing the bat, we're not here to trot staton to station and I will never turn any game I officate into a walkfest.

Probably the pitch out of the zone that most batters refuse to pass up on with two strikes is the inside pitch they want to turn on and drive.

Also we got the instance where its an awful pitch that nobody should swing at in their right mind, yet the batter still strokes it for a nice hit. Defies logic but it happens!
Dec. 11, 2009
mad dog
Men's 60
3921 posts
spoon,he is actually einstien in disguise,won't answer a direct question,just needs to degrade everyone else for his satisfaction.


mmm as a pitcher (mostly with the kids)if i find a batter doesn like a particular pitch guess what thats all you'll see.had heard a team say something about me throwing a knuckle to themselves,guess what again thats all they saw after that.i get 2 strikes on ya with no foul,no telling where the next pitch is gonna go(specially in call strike).now with the mat when i do pitch thats a different story.its hard to throw the almost flat fast pitch to catch the batter off guard,as it usaully is gonna be long,(by the way the kids go for it 99% of the time),and have the ump call it illegal.
Dec. 11, 2009
mad dog
Men's 60
3921 posts
green you must of posted while i was typing.as an ump you do a diservice to teams by umping that way.if its a strike call it whether or not the pitcher is mostly pitching hi or lo.you need to keep your eyes open.:):)

now on the pitches(inside waste) you were talking about,i've thrown that one that was at least a foot inside and seen it just nailed,didn't know how they did it and still don't..
Dec. 11, 2009
green rocket
51 posts
mad dog, I will try not to diservice any teams. Will always try my best for the 6-12 that's allowed. It's your game and endevour not to take it away from you.

You guys (ballplayers) are the engine, I'm just the transmission......

Sometimes its good to wear sunglasses so you guys can't see my eyes after one of those knuckle pitches (crossed). 8^)
Dec. 11, 2009
butch17
Men's 55
415 posts
mad dog,

Hell you are like me you dont know where its going with less than two strikes!!! Happy Holidays my friend.
Dec. 11, 2009
mad dog
Men's 60
3921 posts
green i understand what your saying,but the way you posted,it sounded like that if i was throwing basically 12' that you would miss my 6' pitch,thats all.and yes my knuckle can move at times,this past weekend with the kids i had cross winds that were moving it pretty good.:):)


butch what you talking bout bubba,(:o) :)

butch hope you have a good holiday season yourself,maybe see ya again in the circuit.hey ya otta come down to jacksonville to curt's and audie hollis's CST in feb.
Dec. 11, 2009
runrblu
Men's 50
7 posts
I think throwing a strike when you need it
Dec. 11, 2009
butch17
Men's 55
415 posts
Or if you are pitching

to one of the hitters mention in one of the other posts such as Rick Perez
a ball. :)
Dec. 12, 2009
Webbie25
Men's 60
1933 posts
The fact remains that you are pitching from 50+ feet, you have to have an arc on it and you have to hit a mat. It is very rare that I feel a pitcher gets me out. If I make an out, it was a bad swing on my part, or bad pitch selection. Low and outside, I will usually lay off it early in a count, but you are asking for a shot up the middle. Of course I never try to do that, but it happens on that pitch. I do support the idea of unlimited arc high. It gives the pitcher another weapon and takes that judgement call away from an umpire. We had guys that could top 20 feet when I began playing. Overall, I believe the pitcher that can throw the strike when he needs to, doesn't walk the leadoff hitter or more than a couple batters a game and moves the ball around is all you can ask. Make them hit it-nobody bats a thousand. I am also a big fan of the statement to 'feed' the power guy if no one is on.
Dec. 12, 2009
mad dog
Men's 60
3921 posts
yeah webbie your right about what you have said in your post.big boy feed him,i do it with the kids,as we know thats all they want to do.get thier 2-4 solo's out of the way and thier done for the game LOL.
i also think in mat ball it should be 3'- to whatever.its not like the batter doesn't know where it has to land.
Dec. 14, 2009
TGIII
Men's 60
89 posts
Webbie25...thank you for the comment about a low outside pitch being hit back up the middle. My experiense has been that if you throw a low outside strike with two strikes there is a high percentage of the balls that are hit back up the middle. I know pitchers that when they throw a certain pitch, the probability of that pitch being hit back up the middle is very high. The pitch is usually thrown when a pitcher wants a doubleplay grounder. Thank you for your comments.
Dec. 14, 2009
mad dog
Men's 60
3921 posts
tgill yep,i do it(lo outside with 2 strikes) with the kids all the time(we play mostly call strike here),than start falling off to the 2nd base side to field a ball hopefully.i like getting out from behind the rubber(unless i can cover the front up)if possible to take it out of the equation b/c of a bad hop off it.
Dec. 14, 2009
jim16
Men's 65
169 posts
The best pitch to throw is the one most difficult to hit and location dictates where you need to throw it. Being able to throw many different pitches to different locations is what makes pitchers successful. However, the question is worded differently. The best pitch to work on is ABSOLUTELY the knuckleball. It moves and goes through the air slower so that it messes up timing. The problem is controlling the pitch, it goes where the wind blows. Yes, Andy Purcell is the best IMHO. I wish I could throw one, its my weakest pitch yet I know its the best one to use.
Dec. 14, 2009
Joncon
285 posts
Flat,low and outside is a suicide pitch.


Up and in to protect yourself.
Dec. 14, 2009
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
If your only objective when you pitch is to protect yourself, then you really need to find another position. Or another hobby.

Flat, low, and outside is often a relatively easy out for the pitcher.
Dec. 15, 2009
Joncon
285 posts
My FIRST objective is to protect myself.


And yeah....I found anotherposition, behind the plate.

I figured it was only a matter of time before I took one to the face. It happens in ONE HALF OF A SECOND.

It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when. Wrong place, wrong time, reconstructive surgery and hospital bills. I'll still do it in a pinch but it takes a lot of the fun out of the game for me.
Dec. 15, 2009
butch17
Men's 55
415 posts
Joncon,

Would you go back to pitching with a 52/275 ball and usssa bats?
Dec. 16, 2009
mad dog
Men's 60
3921 posts
actually joncon its more .4 seconds or even less with the hot bat/ball combo we have now.
Dec. 16, 2009
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
That .4 sounds really fast, but when you are out there in most cases it doesn't really seem that way.

Watch an MLB catcher adjust his glove to a breaking ball in the dirt, or to a fastball that was not located correctly. They almost always get the glove to the ball.

Yes it is quick, and yes for those who aren't as fast as others or who don't properly prepare themselves there is risk, but in almost all cases is it manageable.
Dec. 16, 2009
taits
Men's 65
4251 posts
Depends on bat, ball, & batter, but that's a close time mentioned.
It's on here as well, Stoneman and another person have posted times, may have been trumpball.
Dec. 16, 2009
Garocket
Men's 55
115 posts
Guys here us some studies that I found on the internet
these are measured with legal adult bats not U2 or shaved bats
Get a stop watch out and try to click it on blink you eyes and stop it well ove .50 of a second

The pitchers have no chance when they catch a line drive its just luck.

I also read where these test were done with 44 cor 350 comp ball and bat speed of 84 miles per hour so If a guy with great bat speed might be as high as 95 can you imagine what the ball exit speed is

Article I found
OBJECTIVES: To investigate safety risks in slowpitch softball by conducting laboratory and experimental studies on the performance of high tech softball bats with polyurethane softballs. To compare the results with the recommended safety standards. METHODS: ASTM standard compression testing of seven softball models was conducted. Using these seven softball models, bat/ball impact testing was performed using seven adult male softball players and six high tech softball bat models to determine mean batted ball speeds. Over 500 bat/ball impact measurements were recorded and analysed. Available pitcher reaction time was calculated from the mean batted ball speed measurements. RESULTS: According to the United States Specialty Sports Association and the Amateur Softball Association, the maximum initial batted ball speed should be 137.2 km/h, which corresponds to a minimum pitcher reaction time of 0.420 second. These experiments produced mean batted ball speeds of 134.0-159.7 km/h, which correspond to available pitcher reaction times of 0.409-0.361 second. CONCLUSION: The use of high tech softball bats with polyurethane softballs can result in batted ball speeds that exceed the recommended safety limits, which correspond to decreased available pitcher reaction times.
Dec. 16, 2009
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
For many/most it is not luck at all. The ball is coming right at you and is always in the same field of vision. To watch a liner off the bat and into the glove is just pretty fundamental for experienced pitchers.

For those who do find it lucky, or who believe they need luck to catch the ball, please don't play the position. There are nine others. But also please don't change the game for those who have few problems playing the position.

Studies are nice, and numbers can tell pretty much any story the person wants them to. But real-life experience tells experienced pitchers it is not nearly as difficult or dangerous as many would want you to believe.
Dec. 16, 2009
Omar Khayyam
958 posts
Dirty, you said it about major league catchers: "almost always get the glove on the ball".

The ball is coming from a farther distance.
The ball is coming in slower than a U2 batted ball.
The catcher knows where the ball is supposed to be.
The catcher knows if the ball is coming faster or slower.
The catcher is a professional elite athlete, in his youth with demonstrated quick reflexes.
The catcher does not have an inch high pitching rubber in front of him for a wild pitch.
And still the catcher can't stop them all with his glove.

No wonder the catcher is uber-protected with high tech armor, so much so it makes it a bit hard for him to be agile and run well with it on.

I don't want to be the face behind the .36 second rocket coming at my glove when I can't "stop them all".
Dec. 16, 2009
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
Omar,

Actually the ball is coming from a shorter distance. A typical baseball pitcher is probably releasing the ball from about 55 or 56 feet from the plate. A good slow-pitch pitcher should be further back then that when the ball is hit.
I disagree that the ball is coming slower. Sure a changeup is slower than a Major level player might be hitting it. But most pitches are fast balls and most softball guys don't hit the ball as hard as the best do.
He knows where it is supposed to go, but watch a game and see how rarely these days the pitcher hits his target.
I will grant you the catcher is a better athlete than the slow-pitch pitcher, but maybe the guys who cannot field the position anymore should transition elsewhere.
I don't know about you, but I smooth the area in front of me each inning.
The catcher is protected against foul tips, NOT the pitch. Watch how many guys catch in the bullpen with only a mask because they are forced to. Their equipment is for tips, NOT pitches.

I have been that face, and maybe it is me but it just doesn't bother me. And if it ever does I will move off the mound and not expect others to have to change their game for me.
Dec. 16, 2009
Omar Khayyam
958 posts
Dirty,

I release the ball about 47 feet from the plate, and yes I back up on unfamiliar hitters, but not as far as I could and still keep my legs fresh (plus, backing up fully assumes every pitch is a higher arc).

Even at 95 mph, the baseball is coming slower than is possible from a hot composite bat and maybe the majority of Major + hitters and many major and AAA hitters as well. Add in forkballs, slow curves, and lots of pitches in hardball are considerably slower (by 20%)

The catcher knows what is expected and is defending basically a 3-foot vertical area. A pitcher is defending his 6 foot body, plus the unpredictable hot grounder.

If you have to have the reflexes of a major league catcher to safely field your position, then I doubt if there is any senior softball pitcher worthy of pitching.

I also smooth the area in front of the rubber at the beginning of each inning, but sometimes the dirt just isn't there to properly do the job (not to mention the many rec fields where there are one or two other pitching rubbers in front of the 50' one).

I agree with you that a lot of the protection of the catcher is for foul tips.

Doesn't change my opinion that even if the finest athletes in the world can't properly stop a pitch every time, what chance does the older player have with a batted ball coming at him faster than a baseball fast pitch?!

Changing the game for me means eliminating the hot ego-boosting bats. We agree there, don't we?
Dec. 16, 2009
mad dog
Men's 60
3921 posts
mmmm 5' in front of the rubber,that is a real long stride of a pitcher,he'll need to close to 7' tall for a stride that long,most are like 3' long.
yep omar even in slowpitch ya still only have approx 3-5 seconds max to set up(depending on height of pitch),and you need to be set up before the batter actually hits the ball.
Dec. 17, 2009
taits
Men's 65
4251 posts
Omar,
You must have one heck of a pair of long legs to get that 47 foot distance. Thats 3 feet from the box. My stride is only 2.5'.
Read Rule 6.4...
What ever all this is about all of it, all I know is that some of it, is really messed up.
Someone wrote:<< The final conclusion was 'If it isn't broken, don't fix it'. >> That seems to me, that this is what has been going on for about 2 years now and look where we are at, and where it may be headed...
Dec. 17, 2009
Omar Khayyam
958 posts
O.K., O.K. You're right. Even though I stand with my heel on the rubber, not my foot, I measured it and it was only 2'8" to the front toe. Excuuuuuuuse me!
Dec. 17, 2009
taits
Men's 65
4251 posts
All I really was doing is showing you that the ball will reach you even faster where you there.
That's one reason they moved it back.
I think you and some others will get the "saner" one soon enough.
However, if I remember right your 70+ ever thought about your reflexes going south? But at the same time pop might be as well. Either way, I doubt it will come down to wood bats. Finding a good bat to softball specs is tough. I had 2 made but he said it was tough for him to find the blanks for them. Too much wood waste for low weight desired.
Have a good '10.
Dec. 17, 2009
Omar Khayyam
958 posts
Taits, "thought about it?" It is an every game reality. Ground balls going under my glove, balls to the side beyond my reach, etc. Thank God I can still get my glove up to protect my face and vitals. Have a great Holiday!
Dec. 18, 2009
taits
Men's 65
4251 posts
Omar,
Don't give in to the thought...
But only for the reality.
Hang tough.
May the season be good for you next year.

Dec. 18, 2009
taits
Men's 65
4251 posts
These were posted by Trumpball in about Oct and though the 1st only list one assn I believe there are 3-4.
-----
On a side note USSSA approved the .52/275 ball for play on monday and will allow the use of .40/325 balls until they are gone. This goes into effect 4-1-2010
------
the other post, diff subject, but may have big effect for some:
PER me CONVER' w/ DAVE:: SOME POSSIBLE RULEs CHANGEs for 2010..

1. I deleted or didn't include this one
2.) If, a TEAM is OUT of HOME RUNS, if, THE BATTER DOES NOT HAVE 2
STRIKEs on THEM, an OVER THE FENCE BALL, WILL b a FOUL BALL.
THIS MEANs THAT a PLAYER w/ no STRIKEs, COULD HIT 2 BALLs OVER THE
FENCE. EACH BALL, WOULD b a FOUL BALL.

3.) SS-USA, WILL LOOK INTO THE 44/ 375-400 MCT BALL. SS-USA, NOW
UNDERSTANDS, THAT AFTER 8-9 yrs, THE PROPER STORAGE of THE 44/375,
NON-MCT BALL.

4.) It APPEARs, THAT AFTER THE PAST 2 WKENDs & SEVERAL MESSAGE
BOARD POST, THAT SS-USA, WILL NEED 2 BETTER INSTRUCT THE FIELD
DIRECTORs & UMPs, on PROPER STORAGE of THE TRUMP-STOTE BALL.

SS-USA, UNDERSTANDs THAT THE PRESENT 44 cor BALL, HAS A RANGE of
495 comp @ 50 DEGREES & LESS THAN 200 comp, WHEN THE TEMP' is
OVER 100 DEGREES.

THE 325' FIELDS, WILL b USED by THE 40s, 50s, 55s, & 60s. AGAIN, EACH yr, MOST of THE AGE GROUPs WILL MOVE FROM COMPLEX 2 ANOTHER COMPLEX THE FOLLOW' yr.
--------
Some changes are or will be made the game and most are positive. If I recall, on the balls ASA & NSA were two other assn's that approved this new Hacky Sack type of ball, lol.
Changes are obviously coming.
Dec. 18, 2009
Joncon
285 posts
"""Joncon, Would you go back to pitching with a 52/275 ball and usssa bats?"""

I doubt it. I haven't experienced a 275 ball. I'd throw a 275 ball to an Easton hammer :)



"""Watch an MLB catcher adjust his glove to a breaking ball in the dirt, or to a fastball that was not located correctly. They almost always get the glove to the ball.""

Uhhhh....25 year old professional athlete getting paid multi millions and wearing serious protective gear.

"""for those who aren't as fast as others or who don't properly prepare themselves there is risk, but in almost all cases is it manageable."""

Yes, a majority of the pitches don't come straight back at you and yes, it is managable. The casualty rate is obviously acceptable because we keep on playing. If you pitch often enough againt guys who hit hard with modern bats, you will get hurt.


Dec. 18, 2009
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
"Uhhhh....25 year old professional athlete getting paid multi millions and wearing serious protective gear."

We have been over this. The protective gear is for foul tips, NOT to protect them from gettin hit by a pitch.

"Yes, a majority of the pitches don't come straight back at you and yes, it is managable. The casualty rate is obviously acceptable because we keep on playing. If you pitch often enough againt guys who hit hard with modern bats, you will get hurt."

Not really, but if you do that is the chance you accept. If you don't want to accept that, it is up to you but the rules should NOT be changed to impact those who do accept it.
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