Baseball Magazine

Go with Your Best

By Meachrm @BaseballBTYard

Go with your best

To beat Roy Halladay, you know you are
going to have to beat his best stuff.

A general tip for any pitcher that is in a jam is to “go with your best stuff.”  Most pitchers by the time they reach the high school level are going to throw at least three types of pitches.  They might include a fastball, curve ball, and change-up or might simply be a four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball, and a breaking pitch.  Many have a fourth pitch as well.  Regardless of what they throw, a pitcher should know how each pitch ranks according to overall effectiveness.  In a jam, pitchers should gravitate towards throwing their best two pitches when they need an out.   It’s ok to throw their 3rd or 4th best pitch as long as it’s thrown at the right time and in the right location.  Many batters will take a first pitch breaking pitch so one thrown at that time doesn't have to be a nasty one.  It just needs to be thrown for a strike.  The 3rd or 4th pitch then becomes what is called a "get me over" pitch.  A 3rd or 4th pitch may also be used as a "show" pitch meaning the pitcher throws it in a spot where the hitter cannot hit it or at least cannot hit it well.  A change-up in the dirt for example or a four-seamer 6 inches off the plate and low.  The purpose of those pitches is to put the thought in the batter’s mind that you have these pitches to throw.  However, in a jam, when you absolutely need an out on a particular pitch, you should go with your best stuff.   A pitcher may occasionally get batters out on their 3rdor 4th best pitch but they will face a lot of criticism if they get beat on anything but their best pitches in a jam.

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