Last Week of October
Hey fans. We are into the last week of October and our half-way point in the season. The level of baseball is up and down. There are a lot of stand-out performances, but the complete game seems to be lacking. Overall the whole league seems to be hitting the ball very well, whereas the pitching and defense are taking a backseat. The condition of the fields and some tired arms could be to blame. As a pitcher myself I have had some trouble keeping the ball down, and hitters of this caliber are taking advantage of these mistakes, which leads me to my next topic, the importance of pitching inside.
As with any level and especially with better hitters pitching inside can make or break pitchers outings and careers. A lot of pitchers are afraid to pitch inside because they might hit the batter, giving him a free base, or they are more confident thowing the ball as far away from the hitters eyes as possible. Yet when a pitcher constantly throws the ball to the far end of the plate the hitter picks up on this and alters his approach by diving onto that side of the plate. By doing this he over-compensates to the pitch, taking away its effectiveness. Now there are two ways to pitch inside to batters, one is pitching in for effect and the other is pitching in for a strike. Pitching in for effect prevents that hitter from diving onto the outer edge of the plate. Now the hitter knows that the pitcher will pitch inside, therefore keeping him honest to both sides of the plate. Pitching in for effect is not meant to be a strike, just a purpose pitch so the hitter is aware of the pitchers capabilities. Pitching in for a strike is pretty straight forward. When throwing strikes inside the pitcher shows he is not afraid to throw the ball anywhere he wants, regardless of whether it hits the batter or not, resulting in a well-rounded pitcher.
I mention pitching inside because it looks like the hitters, in general, are too comfortable and therefore are diving to the outer edge of the plate. Pitching inside is paramount in this league and higher levels because if you don’t it gives the hitter an advantage. Knowing hitters, I know they will take advantage of any edge they can get.
Till next week fans…