By Steven Ellis, former Chicago Cubs pitching pro
Your baseball pitching strategy should be simple: make the batter swing the bat.
The best hitters in the world only get a hit 3 out of 10 times at bat. That means they make an out 7 out of every 10 times they bat! So, as a pitcher, the odds are with you if you pitch the baseball over the plate and make the batter swing the bat.
Now, pitching it over the plate doesn't mean belt high, straight as a string. You can find out about changing speeds, different pitches, and all that other stuff on this website, but it's always a good pitching strategy to make the batter swing the bat.
The other thing I stress about developing a pitching strategy is that pitchers don't have to win the game all by themselves. There are 8 other guys out there playing defense whose job it is to help the pitcher.
Here's some additional baseball pitching strategies to help you become a more successful pitcher.
- We want to throw first pitch strikes. Throwing first pitch strikes puts the batter on the defensive.
- You lose games by walking people. If the lead off batter in an inning walks he will score over 50 % of the time!
- Don't try to make the hitter miss until he has two strikes. Once you get two strikes on him you can try to get him to expand his strike zone and chase a bad pitch.
- Pitch to your strengths! If you're a fastball pitcher, when the count is 3-2, I want you throwing your best fastball. If you're a breaking ball pitcher, I want you throwing your best breaking ball when the game is on the line. If you get beat, I want you to get beat with your best pitch.
- Work early in the count (we'd like to average 3 1/2 pitches a batter). I don't want a lot of 3-2 counts. The fewer pitches you throw to each batter, it stands to reason, the more batters you can pitch to in a game.
- Work to advantage counts (first pitch strikes). The batter is on the defensive when the count is 0-2 or 1-2. He will often expand his strike zone and swing at pitches that are not strikes. He will, in effect, get himself out for you!
- If you lose the advantage (fall behind 2-0 or 3-1), we call that Challenge Time. Throw the ball right down the middle and let your defense bail you out. Remember, you don't want to walk people!
If you'd like to receive more of my best tips and techniques to throw harder with better control while reducing the risk of injury, I invite you to subscribe to my free baseball pitching tips here: www.pitchingtips.com/free
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