Do you enjoy watching or listening to baseball games but just don’t know all of the terms and phrases of the game? Do you listen to the announcer excitedly say something like, “Wow, did you see that curveball” and have no idea what he meant but you want to be a part of the excitement. This article will explain the different baseball pitches.
When you watch a pitcher pitch, start looking for the speed, the movement and the break or a quick shift in the direction of the baseball. Also, watch how the batter swings at each pitch, this will give you an idea of what pitch was thrown and with time you will be able to know what each pitch is and what the announcer is talking about.
The different types of fastballs include:
- The four-seam fastball is the main pitch because all other pitches work off of this one pitch. It is a fast straight pitch with a speed between 85-100 mph.
- Two-seam fastball: Also known as the sinker because it sinks as it gets closer to the plate. A sinking fastball will sink downward as it approaches the batter and at times can also move in towards the batter at 80-90 mph.
- Cut fastball: Also called a cutter is a pitch that can jam a hitter or cause ground outs. This pitch breaks to the left of a right-handed pitcher (RHP) and to the right of a left-handed pitcher (LHP). The cutter is just slightly slower than a four-seam fastball.
- The Split-finger fastball or splitter when thrown correctly will suddenly dive downward at the plate. This is when you are likely to see a batter swing hard at what seems like air.
- Forkball: Is similar to a splitter but slower at 75-85 mph and drops sharply. It is an effective pitch but can be hard on a pitchers arm.
- A Curveball is a much slower pitch than a fastball and will curve downward and away from the batter at 70-80 mph. The curveball is best when a RHP is pitching against a RHB or a LHP pitches to LHB.
- Slider: A pitch that is between the fastball and a curveball with a speed of 80-90 mph. The slider is faster than the curveball but doesn’t curve as much as a curveball and breaks down and away from the right-handed hitter.
- Screwball: A pitch that will break away from left-handed hitters. This is one of the slower pitches at 65-76 mph.
- A Changeup looks like a fastball in the way it is thrown, the difference is in the speed which is 70-85 mph. The hitter will think he is getting a fastball and swing too early because the changeup is slower getting to the plate.
- Circle Changeup: Similar to a changeup, but because of the way the baseball is thrown, it also can curve inwards and jam a right-handed hitter.
- The Palmball is the same as a changeup, but held differently by the pitcher and can drop as it nears the plate.
- The Knuckleball is an interesting pitch that has little to practically no spin to the baseball. The knuckleball is thrown at under 80 mph and can break unpredictably when it gets to the plate, so the hitter has no idea which way the baseball is going.
What makes a pitch become a certain pitch is how the pitcher holds the baseball when he throws it. There are many other types of pitches and phrases you can learn over time.
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