Baseball Magazine

The No Look Delivery

By Meachrm @BaseballBTYard

There are several ways to hold runners on to limit their running game.  Having a good pickoff move is one of them.  Having several different types of pickoff moves is another.  Mixing your times to home plate is important as well.  The biggest tip coaches usually pass on to their pitchers is don’t get into any patterns.  If a pitcher’s timing, number of looks at the runner, and/or pickoff moves never vary, they are going to be exploited by base runners.

Looks are good.  Not looking can work too.

Looks are good. Not looking can work too.

When it comes to avoiding patterns on the mound, there is one technique that is often overlooked.  It is the “no-look” delivery.  Regardless of the pickoff move or the delivery to home plate, pitchers are almost always told to check the runner first.  To avoid patterns, pitchers will frequently check more than once.  This pattern of “checking at least once” is why the no-look delivery can be effective.

If a runner has seen a pitcher check a runner at least once before every pitch, he will naturally not take off until the pitcher looks at him at least once.  The point is, the runner expects to be looked at by the pitcher after he comes set.  In a big running situation, the pitcher, having looked at every previous runner at least once, can come set properly and immediately deliver to home plate without checking the runner.  The runner does not get a good jump because he didn’t expect to run until after the pitcher looked at him.  The pitcher never did.

Mixing the number of looks at the runner is certainly important.  Adding a “no-look” in there as well can allow a pitcher to be even more effective at stopping the running game.

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