Pitch to both sides during most of the game
but stay outer half late in the game.
Keeping all this in mind, it is usually smart for pitchers late in the game to work the outer half of the plate more consistently. This prevents the power hitters from easily turning on the ball and it also prevents batters from getting on base by getting hit by pitches. When you stay away late in the game, more balls that are driven are going to be driven to center field which is the biggest part of the field. A pitcher who uses this strategy is also tapping into the fact that many hitters will be over anxious late in the game in order to be the hero and as a result will try to pull everything. Many times it ends up being a long, easy out to center field.
Of course, if the pitcher has not established throughout the earlier part of the game that he is capable and willing to throw strikes on the inner half, then staying away from hitters late in the game is somewhat meaningless since that’s how he has thrown all day. In this case, chances are good that the pitcher will not be around to even be able to pitch in the later innings.
Successful pitchers have command on both sides of the plate but also know when to focus on one side or the other.