Pitching is part science, part art.
Traditionally, the thinking parts of pitching - especially what pitch to throw next - has been put in the 'art' category. In fact, it could be looked at as belonging to the science of pitching. On certain counts there are just a few best choices - and sometimes only one.
Disclaimer: This page is just a quick fix
It will suggest likely pitches to succeed on any given pitch count. See the note to the right and comments below the box as to why this is far from everything you need to know.
How to use the Sequencer....
Each pitch sequence starts with an 0-0 count. And each result is limited to either a ball, a strike, or fair contact.
Once you're read the suggestions, the area below the box presents options for possible results of each pitch. Make a choice and continue.
Obviously in addition to the options that bump the count up by a ball or a strike, there are more significant results... from pop-ups and ground outs (still a good result) to anything from a bunt, hit by pitch, hard driven single - or worse. There's not much point in thinking about the next possible pitch in a sequence then, because it's time to get yourself back to the 0-0 mentality for the next batter. (At that point, click the reset button and try again.)
The thinking behind the suggestions
Things to keep in mind...
As one Texas org. pitching coach puts it, the idea is to "stimulate the bat" - to get early strikes, put the batter on the defensive, and get nice easy ground ball outs. The choices below were suggested by Tom House and are all from MLB measurements so you might need to assess how they match up with your league or age group.
- The split in game pitches is 65% fastball, 20-25% breaking pitch, and 10-15% change-ups. So it makes sense to practice throwing in the same ratio and have your hitters practice hitting the same mix. As to what to throw when...
- The only counts on which to throw a breaking pitch are 0-0, 1-2, 0-2 and the best change-up counts are 3-1, 2-1, 2-0 (because the batter is most likely looking for a fastball on these counts - so pull the string. i.e throw the change-up, and surprise!)
- The above is even more relevant when you consider that 1-1 is called the swing count, i.e. the next pitch has got to be a pitcher's command pitch, because if that pitch succeeds then the count goes to 1-2 and anything from a change-up to a fastball can work. (Timing is harder to read than movement.)
- You can also assume from the above, therefore, that a 2-2 count is also a command pitch count for obvious reasons.