Baseball Pitching Tips: How To Back Up Bases Properly Saves Ballgames!
- Updated: June 20, 2012
Way too often, backing up bases gets to complex and very confusing for a pitcher and it should not be. An errant throw can often determine the outcome of a baseball game. Baseball pitching tips should include teaching pitchers which base they should back up and how to properly back up the base. Once again, this is one of the so called “little things” that often have a huge impact on the game. The following shows which base to back up if you are the pitcher and there’s a hit that goes into the outfield. Remember that you must know where the runners are ahead of time and cannot try to figure out which base you should be backing up after the ball is hit.
Nobody on Base. On singles, back up throws to second base. On extra base hits, watch the play unfold and back up the base where you think there may be a play.
Runner On First Base. You back up third base.
Runner On Second Base. You back up home plate.
Runners On First and Second Base. You have to think quickly and move very quickly. Quickly get into a position between third base and home, standing about ten feet in foul territory. You have to watch the play unfold, anticipate and make a very quick judgment. You either dash toward home and backup the throw there or backup the throw to third base. Watching the play unfold is the only way to know which base you have to back up. Smart teammates should pay you a mound visit to give you a breather after this one because you may be sprinting all over the field.
Bases Loaded. Same exact thing as runners on first and second base mentioned above. You must move quickly and watch the play unfold.
Runners On First and Third Base. You back up third base.
Runners On Second And Third Base. Back up the plate!
There are several things a pitcher should remember about backing up bases. First of all, a pitcher must know where the runners are beforehand. Remember that once the ball is hit, the pitcher becomes a defensive player just like everybody else! It is a shame to have a game decided because a pitcher failed to back up a base due to a lack of focus or because he didn’t know which base to back up.
When backing up a throw from the outfield, avoid making the very common mistake of being too close to the base. Try to get about ten steps or so behind the base and line up yourself so that there is an imaginary line going from the player throwing the ball, the base you are backing up and to you. Way too often pitchers back up the base and the throw gets by the infielder and gets by them also. By being about ten steps behind the base, you will have much better range to your left and to your right. The chance of the ball getting by both the infielder and you will be minimal.
The proper way for backing up bases is one of the more important baseball pitching tips. Unfortunately, it is not taught nearly enough. It should rank high on everyone’s list of baseball coaching tips. Remember, you must know where the base runners are beforehand in order to back up bases properly. Show everyone how well schooled you are!