How pitchers can make hitters make adjustments
Forcing hitters to make adjustments is job No. 1 for baseball pitchers. But how to do that is where the art of pitching comes to play -- and how the big league pitchers you watch on TV make their living.
There are actually a few things you can do to make hitters make adjustments -- and make you more successful on the mound.
Here are three:
- Change speeds. Throw fastballs to increase a hitters bat speed, and throw change-ups to slow it down.
- Change location. Throw breaking balls (or any pitch that dives downward like a splitter or fork ball) to change a hitters focal point down, and throw high heat to bring the eyes up again. Changing the eye-level of a hitter is important because as you advance, it'll become more difficult for you to get a hitter to move his feet in the batters box -- even by pitching inside -- so the next option is to move the hitters eyes.
- Double up on spots. If a hitter can't hit a pitch in a particular spot, come back with the same pitch in the same spot. If you miss with an off-speed pitch for a ball, come back with the same pitch for a strike. (But a golden rule in pitching is never throw the same pitch three times in a row -- not even a fastball.)