Fort Worth, TX (WiredPRNews.com)—For those not familiar with the various baseball pitches –curveballs, sliders, knuckleballs, change ups and fastballs –here is a brief overview of the different pitches used to strike out hitters:
The name really sums it up. It’s a fast pitch designed to speed past the hitter. Some pitchers, like Nolan Ryan, have thrown 100-mile-per-hour fastballs. Making contact requires the batter to have a fast swing and superb hand-eye coordination.
Arching down as it crosses the plate, the curveball is thrown slower to allow the full effect of the curve to disrupt the hitter’s timing. A good curveball can take years for a pitcher to develop and it can be one of the toughest pitches to hit.
A side-to-side movement is the hallmark of this mid-speed pitch. The lateral motion makes it hard for the batter to time his swing to the pitch because it looks like it is coming in faster than it really is.
This pitch is one of the slowest and most bizarre-looking to most hitters. Thrown so that the ball has minimal spin, the slow-speed pitch actually appears to dance in the air as it comes toward the plate. This is the result of the turbulence generated by of the raised stitches of the baseball not spinning like they do on a fastball. The back and forth rocking of the knuckleball and unpredictable air bouncing makes it hard for even experienced hitters to make contact.
Delivered with the same kind of arm motion as a fastball, the change up makes its way to the catcher much more slowly. Usually this pitch is thrown after a fastball so as to upset the batter’s timing.
Contributor: Jason Meeks – WiredPRNews