Baseball Magazine

Inside for Effect and Inside for a Strike

By Meachrm @BaseballBTYard
Here is a pitching sequence that is rarely used but can be very effective.

Inside for effect and inside for a strike

Inside for effect ...

When the count is in the pitcher's favor (0-2, 1-2), many pitchers are aware of the "Inside for Effect" fast ball.  It's a fast ball designed to move the batter off the plate a bit.  It's not meant to hit the batter.  It's a purpose pitch that all pitchers need to do every now and then if they want to be successful.  It tells the batter that "Yes, I will come inside so don't lean over that plate too much."   Throwing to the outer half of the plate all the time puts no fear into the batter's mind about handling the inside pitch.  Even good outside pitches off the plate will be hit if a pitcher does not come inside every now and then.
All this is not news to most pitchers.  This throwing-inside-every-now-and-then strategy is basic operating procedure when pitching.  My tip for pitchers focuses on the next pitch.  

Inside for effect and inside for a strike

... and right back inside for a strike!

Put yourself in the shoes of a hitter.  You are behind in the count and the pitcher just came inside with a hard fast ball for effect.  The purpose of which is usually to open up the outer half of the plate.  So, what's coming next?  Probably a pitch on the outer half, right?  In just about every case, the hitter would be correct.  That's why coming inside again on the next pitch, this time for a STRIKE, can be a great strategy for pitchers.  You get the hitter thinking the pitch after the "effect" pitch will be outside so you come inside again.
Like any pitching strategy, if you do it too often, the hitters will catch on.  Throwing outside after a purpose pitch is very effective but only if you keep the hitter honest (and wondering!) every now and then about another fast ball inside.

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