Why Would a Pitcher Tip Pitches?
Baseball is a game of strategy and individual skill, and pitchers are some of the most important players in the game. Pitchers can “tip pitches” by making certain adjustments to their delivery when releasing different types of pitches. When this occurs, the batter has a better chance of predicting which pitch is coming, making it difficult for the pitcher to break out of his comfort zone and get an out.
Understanding Tip Pitching
Tip pitching is when a pitcher gives away hints as to which pitch he is about to throw. This can involve:
* Changing the way he stands on the mound
* Wiggling his fingers during the pause he takes before releasing the pitch
* Blinking or turning the head at a certain point in the delivery
* Adjusting the grip on the ball
By recognizing these subtle changes and paying attention to the pitcher’s body language, the batter can be prepared for any pitch the pitcher throws.
The Benefits and Drawbacks of Tip Pitching
Tip pitching can be a beneficial and effective way for a pitcher to break out of routine. By making small and continual changes to his mechanics and delivery, the pitcher can keep batters on their toes and possibly induce more strikeouts. On the other hand, if a pitcher is too predictable and tips his pitches, the batter will be better able to diagnose what pitch is coming and can gain a competitive advantage in the at-bat.
Preventing Tip Pitches
To prevent tipping pitches, pitchers should be mindful to follow the same motion when releasing every pitch – whether fastballs, curves, sliders or any other pitch. Working towards having a uniform and consistent delivery is key to staying unpredictable. Pitchers should also pay close attention to those around them who may recognize and exploit any tell-tale signs of tipping.
Pitchers must be aware of the possibility of a batter picking up on “tip pitches” in order for them to stay ahead of the competition. By being mindful of their body language when delivering a pitch and breaking out of any “set routine” habits that could give away a pitch’s movement, a pitcher can increase their chance of success and remain unpredictable to batters.
5. Are there common strategies that all pitchers should consider to prevent tipping pitches?
Yes, there are common strategies that all pitchers should consider to prevent tipping pitches. These strategies include:
1. Varying Delivery – Varying the speed, timing and angle of the delivery can help prevent hitters from recognizing a pattern.
2. Varying Grip – Changing the angle and grip of each pitch can make it more difficult to pick up on a pitcher’s pattern.
3. Varied Practice – Practicing multiple ways to deliver each pitch adds unpredictability to a pitcher’s repertoire.
4. Quick Pitches – To throw off a hitter’s timing, a pitcher can use quick pitches.
5. High Fastballs – Throwing the ball high in the zone or off the corners can cause hitters to swing and miss.
6. Sophisticated Sign System – A complex sign system between the catcher and the pitcher can add an element of surprise.