Pitchers need to command their fastball obviously, that pitch is thrown 65% of the time or more. The next pitch to master is something soft. This pitch could be any variation of a change-up or a splitter. Mastering the change-up will allow you as the pitcher to never become predictable. Anytime a fastball is in order so is a change-up, specifically if you have mastered it. Being able to throw change-ups for strikes, particularly in hitters’ counts 2-0 and 3-1, permit the pitcher to turn the count in his favor by getting the hitters balance and timing disrupted. Hitters are geared up in these counts ready to jump on the fastball, when you pull the string on it the hitter will be out front and hopefully put the ball in play weakly for an out. Bill “Spaceman” Lee use to say you want the ball there before the bat got there, or the ball there after the bat got there, never want ball and bat to be there at the same time. Fastball command and mastering of the change-up will allow us to do just that. As a pitcher we are trying to get outs not strikeouts, the easiest way to get outs is to miss barrels. Taking a little off and adding a little here and there will allow you to miss barrels and keep your pitch count down.
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