Pitchers, coaches and baseball parents who have sons that are pitchers should learn the value of intimidation. This is not to be confused with throwing at a hitter, which is morally wrong as well as being illegal. If a pitcher has a hitter intimidated, the pitcher has half the battle won before throwing the first pitch.
Several Advantages The Pitcher Has Over The Hitter:
- The pitcher knows what type of pitch is being thrown and the hitter does not.
- The pitcher knows the speed of the pitch and the hitter does not.
- The pitcher knows where he wants to locate the pitch and the batter does not.
- Last but not least, the pitcher is standing on “the hill” and is throwing a very hard baseball in the batter’s general direction.
If a pitcher has a baseball hitter intimidated, part of the job is done before the first pitch is even thrown! One of the better baseball pitching tips is that it is a pitcher’s job to make the batter uncomfortable at the plate. I am not implying that a pitcher should throw at a batter! What I am saying is that I strongly believe there is nothing illegal or immoral about throwing a pitch six inches or so off the inside corner of the plate. The batter’s box is six inches away from the plate, right?
As a baseball pitcher, you have every moral and legal right to throw into what I call that “neutral area.” Once again, there should be no intention to hit the batter with the baseball so if you do “plunk” him, your conscience should be very clear and you should NOT feel any guilt!
If I see a great hitter get up to the plate and he is just dying to clobber me, I would not hesitate to work him “low and away” with my pitches and occasionally throw the fastball six inches or so off the inside corner of the plate. If a pitcher allows a hitter to constantly “lean over” the plate to hit his perfect low and away strike, the perfect low and away will now become the middle of the plate for the hitter! Remember, baseball pitching tips are not only about physical fundamentals and baseball pitching tips often require basic thinking and using the mental aspect of the game to your advantage.
The following short story is strictly for your benefit and not mine. Back in the late 1960’s, way back when I was about 15 years old, I used to occasionally pitch against a fabulous baseball hitter named Jimmy. Jimmy was a feared hitter, strong as an ox, and it was only fitting that he was a catcher. I swear that when he came up to bat I could see smoke coming out of his ears and he was a very aggressive baseball hitter.
Every time we played his team and I was pitching, I would send him my “calling card” by throwing a fast ball inside off the plate, by about six inches or so. Just a friendly reminder to not get too comfortable up there and a reminder that I’m throwing a very hard baseball in his general direction. Once again, I want to emphasize that this is not to be confused with throwing at a batter, which is morally and legally wrong. I had a great deal of success in my showdowns with Jimmy and it was not a coincidence.
Several years ago, arguably the five best pitchers in M.L.B. had one thing in common. None of them were the least bit hesitant to “pitch inside!” Fellows by the name of Randy, Pedro, Curt, Josh and Roger. Think about it! Sure, I admit they had great stuff but it goes deeper than that.
One of the most important baseball pitching tips is that hitters should never be comfortable facing you when you are on the hill. Baseball parents, players and youth coaches, I post a new baseball article on hitting, pitching or fielding every Monday at LarryBaseball.com. You and others you may want to invite will benefit by reading them and you will be raising some eyebrows. Click here and scroll down the right hand side to read more FREE baseball tips!