Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Baseball Pitching Tips - Don't Ever Be Intimidated by Any Hitter!

By Larry Cicchiello

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. My thought process is that first of all, it comes down to simple math.

Even the great baseball hitters make outs more often than they get hits. So if I'm facing a 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 pitcher, that means that I probably will get him out about 7 out of 10 times or possibly even a little more often.

Several advantages the pitcher has over the hitter:

The pitcher knows what type of pitch is being thrown and the hitter does not.
The pitcher knows the speed of the pitch and the hitter does not.
The pitcher knows where he wants to locate the pitch and the batter does not.
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 whatsoever to feel any intimidation.

On the other hand, if a pitcher has a batter intimidated, part of the job is done before the first pitch is even thrown!

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? 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, I won't lose any sleep over it.

Once again, I have no intention of hitting the batter with the baseball.

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.

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 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 give 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 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 batter either!

Larry is the president of Larwenty Online Enterprises Inc. and also the author of "Excellent Baseball Coaching: 30 Seconds Away." If you are a baseball player or are involved in baseball coaching at any level of play or a parent who wants to help your child improve, you will be fully equipped! His baseball website offers several FREE baseball tips from his very informative and very fairly priced eBooks.

Larry's baseball website is

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