How To Throw A Filthy Sinker

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Do you know how to throw a sinker?

In this article, you'll learn everything you need to know about throwing a sinker that goes beyond "dirty" or "nasty" and usually involves embarrassing the batter...

But first, check out the sinking action on this fastball from pitcher Chris Heston:

Chris Heston sinker
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That's such a great pitch, and he really gets some good movement on it.

I think we all have a soft spot for sinkers that move back onto the plate to catch a hitter looking, and Heston often has a few up his sleeve each night.

A sinker or a true sinking fastball is a heavy pitch.

In other words, it shouldn't explode off the bat.

The main purpose of the sinker is to produce ground balls; the pitch should move slightly (a couple of inches) to result in a ground ball.

Sinker grip

So what's the secret to a good sinker?

Let's take a closer look at how to grip and throw the sinker...

Sinker grip
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  1. Turn your hand outward, almost like a screwball. You will be throwing the inside half of the ball, resulting in side spin.
  2. The key is the arm action of the follow through. After throwing, force your pitching thumb to graze your lead leg. It's erroneous to believe the follow through should go past the outer leg with the little finger past your thigh. This counterproductive action straightens the ball.
  3. Practice turning your pitching hand inward. Allow your thumb to pass your leg while your fingers remain on the outside to provide an excellent sink to the ball!

More images of sinker grips

Sinker grip images
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How to throw a sinker video

Put it all together, and it looks like this...

Here's another terrific sinker from pitcher Chris Heston:

Chris Heston sinker
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And then check out this nasty sinker from pitcher Phil Hughes:

Phil Hughes sinker
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If you ask me, I say it's always satisfying to watch a pitch with solid ride and drop fall just out of reach of a flailing bat :-)


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