Baseball Reflections

Baseball Pitching Tips On The Intimidation Factor!

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There is no reason on earth why a pitcher should ever be intimidated by any batter! I don’t care how good or how great a baseball hitter he is. I totally respect any baseball hitter, whether they are an excellent baseball hitter or a weak hitter. But let’s remember a few things. Even the great baseball hitters make outs more often than they get hits. So if I’m facing a baseball hitter that has an average of .400, that means 6 out of 10 official at bats I will win the battle. If I’m a slightly better than average baseball pitcher, that means that I will probably win the battle 7 out of 10 times or possibly even a little more often. Numbers do not lie.

Several Advantages The Pitcher Has Over The Hitter:

1. The pitcher knows what type of pitch is being thrown and the hitter does not.
2. The pitcher knows the speed of the pitch and the hitter does not.
3. The pitcher knows where he wants to locate the pitch and the batter does not.
4. Last but not least, the pitcher is standing on “the hill” and is throwing a very hard baseball in the batter’s general direction.

As a baseball pitcher, there is no logical reason to feel any intimidation. On the other hand, if a pitcher has a baseball hitter intimidated, part of the job is done before the first pitch is even thrown! One of the better baseball pitching tips is that it is a pitcher’s job to make the batter uncomfortable at the plate. I am not implying that a pitcher should throw at a batter! What I am saying is that I strongly believe there is nothing illegal or immoral about throwing a pitch six inches or so off the inside corner of the plate. The batter’s box is six inches away from the plate, right?

As a baseball pitcher, I have every moral and legal right to throw into what I call that “neutral area.” And if my pitch goes an inch or so beyond that neutral area, believe me, I won’t lose any sleep over it. Once again, I have no intention of hitting the batter with the baseball so if I do “plunk” him, my conscience is very clear.

If I see a great hitter get up to the plate and he is just dying to clobber me, I would not hesitate to work him “low and away” with my pitches and occasionally throw the fastball six inches or so off the inside corner of the plate. Remember, baseball pitching tips are not only about physical fundamentals and baseball pitching tips often require basic thinking and using the mental aspect of the game to your advantage.

The following short story is strictly for your benefit and not mine. Back in the late 1960’s, when I was about 15 years old, I used to occasionally pitch against a fabulous baseball hitter named Jimmy. Jimmy was a feared hitter, strong as an ox, and it was only fitting that he was a catcher. I swear that when he came up to bat I could see smoke coming out of his ears and he was a very aggressive baseball hitter.

Every time we played his team and I was pitching, I would send him my “calling card” by throwing a fast ball inside off the plate, by about six inches or so. Just a friendly reminder to not get too comfortable up there and a reminder that I’m throwing a very hard baseball in his general direction. Once again, I want to emphasize that this is not to be confused with throwing at a batter, which is morally and legally wrong. I had a great deal of success in my showdowns with Jimmy and it was not a coincidence.

If I wasn’t intimidated by Jimmy, a truly great hitter, I don’t want you to ever be intimidated by any baseball hitter either! About eight years ago, arguably the five best pitchers in M.L.B. had one thing in common. None of them were the least bit hesitant to “pitch inside!” Fellows by the name of Randy, Pedro, Curt, Josh and Roger. Think about it! Sure, I admit they had great stuff but it goes deeper than that.

One of the most important baseball pitching tips is that hitters should never be comfortable facing you when you are on the hill.

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