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Discussion: 3 and 1: Take the pitch or swing away?

Posted Discussion
Nov. 16, 2020
Bruce M
Men's 55
66 posts
3 and 1: Take the pitch or swing away?
Let's say there is one out, bottom of the 4th. You are a good hitter. You are down by 1 run. You have 1 runner on base. You know the next pitch is going to be straight down the center of the plate, exactly where you like it. The argument for taking the pitch: 1. Chance of walk (OBP) 2. Make the pitcher work. 3. A walk doesn't hurt your OBP. The argument for swinging away: 1. Get a good pitch to hit and swing! 2. If you take a meatball, the next pitch won't be straight down the center: aka...a touch harder to control.

Thoughts? Perspectives?
Nov. 16, 2020
DaveDowell
Men's 65
3423 posts
We play SLOW pitch softball, hitting a ball lobbed underhand at a speed of about 10-MPH! ... To quote John Daly, "Grip it and rip it!" ... In this era of "Little League score keeping, where if I got on base it MUST have been a hit!", how else are you going to solve the age-old debate over who has the biggest "Johnson" in the locker room? ... Let it fly! ... What a hilarious question! ...

Nov. 16, 2020
DieselDan
Men's 70
458 posts
You're playing on a 55 men's team. See the ball, hit the ball or take an inning or two off.
Nov. 16, 2020
HSquared
Men's 55
73 posts
Seriously?
I'm with Dave. Did you come to play softball or worry your stats !!
Nov. 16, 2020
DRB22
Men's 50
56 posts
Haha, my team puts me in a spot in the line up to drive in runs, not walk...swing away all day!
Nov. 16, 2020
bkb555
283 posts
common misconception about softball being 5-10 mph pitch is wrong...based on Radar, a typical pitch from 50-58 feet is 25-30 mph....I know, I was surprised too but I confirmed it with 2 different radar units......but as to the original post, I say, hit your pitch and not the pitcher's pitch
Nov. 16, 2020
Dbax
Men's 65
1957 posts
After doing some research I learned the average slow pitch is 10 mph. Modified slow pitch would be 25 to 30.
Nov. 16, 2020
bkb555
283 posts
Dbax, I thought the same thing until I got the Pocket radar that everyone seems to be using nowadays...i noticed that it would read 2 readings sometimes like 28 and 89....i did it a few more times and sometimes it just did the batted ball speed...then when the guy took a bad pitch, the radar said 28 again....i said nobody had swung the bat and I did it again...same reading....i threw it a little quicker and it said 34.....it wasn't a fastball but it would be a flat pitch in our game....i am just going by what I saw and I recently saw another video where a same type of measurement popped up on their unit....maybe someone can verify either way if their radar had similar outcomes
Nov. 16, 2020
Dbax
Men's 65
1957 posts
👍👍
Nov. 16, 2020
UMBACH
65 posts
As a pitcher I love it when you take a pitch know all I have to do is get it close were you have to swing
Nov. 17, 2020
Webbie25
Men's 65
2308 posts
Bruce, I have had this discussion with so many people since we went to the 1-1 count. The first 2 pitches are balls. Now it's not 3-0, it's 3-1 and if you take that next pitch you are giving the advantage back to the pitcher at 3-2. No question in my mind. If you like it, swing.
Nov. 17, 2020
mck71
241 posts
Where's the runner? If he is on 1B the pitcher is not trying to walk you and will PROBABLY throw a strike, if runner is on 2B or 3B pitcher might be setting up a force or DP so they might not throw you a cookie. Me, I take the pitch (I still would have a foul to use) UNLESS I have NO FAITH in the next man up which is usually a bad thing since this is a team game, just saying!
Nov. 17, 2020
NYTX
Men's 60
44 posts
You ALWAYS swing at a good pitch - regardless of the count! I tell people all the time - hit the first good pitch you get... you may not get another. Did you drive that 200 miles, or pay for a plane ticket, or hotel or rental car to get in the batters box and NOT SWING?? Thats why you play, isn't it?
Ive played with plenty of guys who always seem to wait until they get 2 strikes before swinging - I have never understood that. Be aggressive and hit the first good one. I think I swing at the first pitch about 70% of the time. And its worked for me.
Nov. 17, 2020
stick8
1894 posts
When I first started playing upper level ball I learned right away that at 2-0 Iím looking to swing. (We played 3-2 no foul to,waste)
In senior ball itís 3-2 (or 4-3 if they start at 1-1) with one foul but i have the same mentality.
Iím amazed how many people take that pitch because many times that will be the best pitch youíll get. Especially when we swing senior bats!!
Bruce M I presume when you posted 3-1 you have the batter starting with a 1-1 count.

Nov. 17, 2020
TimMcElroy
771 posts
mck71- I completely agree with you.
I tell my guys all the time that nobody makes the play of their life on a walk.
Nov. 18, 2020
mck71
241 posts
As Herm Edwards said, "you play to win the game", right? So I SHOULD be able to hit any STRIKE thrown underhand is what we are talking about, right? If you don't know your own strike zone AND you are NOT a confident hitter then yes, swing at the first good pitch you see.

And I was responding to the scenario, bottom of the 4th down 1, NOT bottom of the 7th down 1. Different scenario means a different approach (at least to me). So scenario in bottom of 7th, 1 out and runner on base and 3 and 1 count on a GOOD hitter. So now I would probably swing at a cookie UNLESS runner is on 1B, then I take the pitch because if I walk (yeah, I know, I am there to swing) but NOW tying run at 2nd and I am the winning run.

Of course this could ALL change IF I have a HR left, I then kill the 3-1 "meatball" and am mobbed by my teammates for winning the game (pre-Covid of course). :-)

Happy Thanksgiving to all and stay safe everyone!
Nov. 18, 2020
garyheifner
608 posts
When I pitch, if U take the meat ball on 3-1---With only 1 on base, the 3-2 is not going to be a meat ball. It will be a marginal short or deep that will not be in your window, but good enough to make U swing. I can deal with a walk. It sets up force outs and dlb plays. I believed Bruce said several years ago if U see a pitch in your window, hit it-Do U think the next will be better? I will take a 1st pitch strike if the team asks me to-but after that I have $200+ bats that serve a purpose.
Nov. 19, 2020
grayhitter59
Men's 60
292 posts
Ok, maybe if you hit late in the line up and play on a AAA team and the pitch has walked 2 in that inning take a strike.

Major player HIT THE BALL HARD SOMEWHERE!!!
Nov. 20, 2020
Bruce M
Men's 55
66 posts
I love the discussion on this. Some really good insights. Thank you! As you can see, there is no absolute "right" or "wrong" here. Some people will swing no matter what. Some will take the pitch. Some will look at the specific game situation. That is one of the things that makes this game so great!





Nov. 20, 2020
SOFTBALLNUTZ
34 posts

It depends on the price of the bat in your hands!
Nov. 20, 2020
ChiPrimeMarty
Men's 60
101 posts
You do what it takes to help your team win the game. If the pitcher had been struggling and walking batters, taking the next pitch could be the right decision. If you swing and hit it a line shot, it could be right at someone.

On the other hand, the best hitters usually have a very aggressive mindset. See a good ball, then grip & rip. Don't change your mindset as a hitter. Yogi Berra was right; the game is 90% mental and the other half is physical.
Nov. 24, 2020
Meanzie
9 posts
If itís a cookie Iíll swing at it on the first pitch. It may be the best pitch you get in the at bat.
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