Keeping the Ball in the Park

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Keeping the ball in the park

If you watch enough highlights in Major League Baseball, you will pick up on the trend that most Homeruns are hit on pitches up and over the plate.  Good hitters don’t miss these pitches.  There are exceptions of dead low ball hitters.  Among those are the likes of Mike Trout and Mark McGwire. Mashers like them do a great deal of damage on pitches down.  However, they tend to struggle on pitches above the belt.  Clearly, there is always a weakness to be found in hitters. Now also, let’s not forget the habitual nitro zone of Down & In to a lefty. Aside from these exceptions, you will have higher success rates of keeping the ball in the park and preventing the big inning when you keep the ball down and on the corners.

 

Keeping the Ball in the Park

 

If you locate your pitch down where you want it and you get hit, you tip your hat to the hitter and move on to the next guy in the line up.  Nevertheless, consistently locating your pitches down, provides a number of factors that position you to win the battle vs the hitter.  One of those being, pitches down in the zone are further away from the hitters eyes. Therefore, the hitter has to track the ball at a longer distance, thus really testing their hand eye coordination. Another is that it enhances being able to elevate your fastball when ahead in the count to get hitters to chase.

 

keeping the ball in the park

Keeping the Ball in the Park
The Slider

When you are throwing your pitches down in the strike zone, it means you are pitching with a steeper trajectory.   Hitters will not drive the pitch as well at this angle.  This means you are throwing Downhill.  As a result, your breaking pitches will be much sharper, and more deceptive.  Your Slider will have a much sharper break and end up where you want it to, down and out of the zone.

When you can command down in the zone, it makes for a very long day for the opposing line up. Additionally, all pitches down in the zone, tend to have more late movement.  This is every hitters worst enemy.  

Keep in mind that pitches located at the mid thigh of the hitter are not down.  They are still up where hitters can see the ball well enough and still get their arms extended.  You see a lot of Homeruns hit on pitches at the mid thigh.

keeping the ball in the park

 

Keeping the Ball in the Park
The Results

Think downhill to throw downhill.  Shoot for the knees. When you miss down and below the strike zone, not much damage can be done there.  Your teammates playing behind you will know that you are making your pitches. When you miss up over the plate, your teammates will have to play with their head on a swivel.  You will also!  Locating your fastball on the outside corner at the knees, forces the hitter has do the most work to hit this pitch.

Throwing your Slider down in the zone, gives you a better chance of it being the ideal Slider of starting out looking like a strike, and then ending up out of the zone.  Any pitch that looks like a fastball from the time it comes out of the hand until the recognition point of the hitter, has an immense level of deception.  Pitchers enjoy an abundance of benefits from this ability to offset the hitter’s timing.  If you start the Slider up in the zone, it will stay in the zone much longer…..this is what you don’t want

 

Start the Slider down and….

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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