Get Ahead with Strikes, Get them Out with Balls. The Easiest Method

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Get ahead with strikes

A magic secret to pitching doesn’t exist.  It’s basic.  Keep the ball down, get ahead with strikes, and be able to change speeds.  It’s a very simple approach because I am a firm believer that pitching should be addressed in simplest terms.  Getting ahead of the hitter will put you in the driver’s seat as it creates the odds in your favor over the hitter.  Get ahead with strikes, get them out with balls. This is a simple strategy for success.  As a bonus, it makes hitters very uncomfortable.  So go make it happen!

Regardless of what the stat geeks, who never played the game, will try to tell us nowadays, First Pitch Strike will always be the best pitch in baseball.  When you can get ahead on hitters, it makes pitching so much easier.  No, the process of pitching becomes more enjoyable. Plus, your teammates playing behind you will have more fun when you can get ahead.  It is one of the easiest ways to rally a defense to play their best behind a pitcher.

get ahead with strikes

Get Ahead with Strikes
The Difficulty when Failing to Do So

Falling behind 2-0, 3-0, 3-1 is very stressful pitching.  As you are continually fighting not to give in to hitters, because of the now smaller margin for error.  Falling behind to the middle of the line up hitters makes managers and pitching coaches cringe.  Falling behind to the 9 hitter with runners on base can give the coaching staff a collective set of ulcers.

getting ahead in the count

Rolaids was a long time sponsor in MLB….it’s not by coincidence.  Nor a catchy gimmick that they even sponsored an award for relief pitchers..

rolaids relief award

Playing catch up as a pitcher leads to higher pitch counts, less innings pitched and continual frustration when attempting to execute your craft.  You would hate to pitch well, however run your pitch count up that you can’t get through 5 innings to get the win.  That’s an awful feeling! When you get ahead of a middle of the line up hitter, you give yourself and your team a chance to get out of a tough spot.  Don’t assume that the hitter will get himself out on a 2-0 pitch…

…Remember the Sadness of Hope?

Get Ahead With Strikes
The Hitter’s Gets EXPOSED

get ahead with strikes

When you can think to yourself about it, visualize and then physically execute getting ahead 0-1, 0-2. It’s gives you so much more firepower to work with.

How so?

Hitters are extremely vulnerable by nature.  Especially with 2 strikes.

Ever since little league, what are hitters taught with 2 strikes?

“Gotta protect, any thing close.
Don’t go down looking!”

So this means that hitters will take a sub aggressive swing on anything close to the plate.  On pitches that may or may not be a called strike.  So when hitters are expanding the zone in order to not get called out on strike 3, you have them more prone to chase a pitch, your pitch!

Remember….

The key word is vulnerable on the hitters behalf

Get Ahead With Strikes
EXPOSE Vulnerability

via GIPHY

Based on percentages, you will see more hitters chase pitches in the dirt with 2 strikes that you would earlier in the count.  Hitters put a lot of pressure on themselves to put the ball in play, get on base, drive the run in, or not strike out.  Expanding the zone adds to this pressure, because there is only so much area a hitter can protect.

It’s almost too easy facing an undisciplined hitter once you get to 2 strikes.  When you are ahead in the count with 2 strikes, you have to make the hitter try to hit your pitch.
As a result, when you can show an opposing line up that come 2 strikes, they will never see anything over the middle of the plate, this significantly alters their approach.
It collectively changes their approach. From thinking they are a run scoring machine to knowing that they have to scratch and claw to push a run across.  Again, vulnerability is the key to understanding their weakness. Let your opponents know that you are always in control of this battle.  Executing this mindset wears on hitters.

 

Get Ahead With Strikes
Then Put ‘Em Away With the Slider


via GIPHY

As for the Slider, the best ones start out as a strike and end up a ball.  The deception makes hitters think they are getting a fastball that they can hit, only to have their hopes destroyed a split second later as they walk back to the dugout in shame and embarrassment….its just the way the game goes….and they know that!!

When you have the count in your favor, and it makes for the hitter to expand the zone, your Dominant Slider is letting the hitter know that he has to hit your pitch…..if he can…

 

Keep Dominating!!!!

 

 

About the Author

Brad Kirsch is the Owner/Creator of Slider Domination.
He is a former professional pitcher who blogs about all things Pitching.
Brad has also authored the AudioBook,
7 Reasons Why YOU Should Throw a Slider.
If you haven’t done so already, you can Download the AudioBook Here

 

 

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