Baseball Magazine

Pitching is Not Rocket Science

By Meachrm @BaseballBTYard
Pitching is not rocket scienceAbout a month ago, I listened to Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels give a post-game interview after a complete game shutout.  He was asked what the reasons behind his great outing were.  I immediately wrote down his response.  It wasalmost exactly as follows:

“Tonight I was able to get many batters out early in the count which lowered my pitch count.  I had four pitches I was able to throw for strikes, mostly down in the zone.  That allowed me to come up occasionally and elevate my fastball to change their eye level.  Getting ahead of the batters with first pitch strikes was key as well.”
Let’s review1.   He pitched to contact2.   He threw multiple pitches for strikes3.   He used the whole strike zone but mostly kept the ball low.4.   He got ahead of hitters with first pitch strikesIf you listen to the growing number of private pitching instructors, you may hear terms directed at pitchers and their parents like torque, arm slot, ballistic rotation, pronation, hip-shoulder separation, and even “late pitching forearm turnover.”  Since Abner Doubleday invented baseball, pitching success has been deeply connected to those four simple (not easy) things I listed above.  I’m not saying that the instructors’ “phrases of the day” have no value at all.  They do.  However, until a major league pitcher mentions his “ballistic rotation” or “late pitching forearm turnover” as a reason for his shutout, I’ll keep focusing on the simple things that work and don’t need a PhD to understand.

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