Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

The 2-2 fastball

May 20, 2013 by  
Filed under Pitching

There is a saying among pitching coaches that goes “if you throw an off-speed pitch 2-2, you might as well throw it 3-2.”  Here is the reason for the saying.  If a pitcher throws a curve ball on a 2-2 count and it ends up being a ball, the

Often a fastball count in my humble opinion

Often a fastball count in my humble opinion

count is now full at 3-2.  The batter knows what is coming next – a fastball.  Especially since the pitcher just proved he has a tough time throwing his curve ball for a strike.  A fastball is coming and the batter knows it.  That’s why a coach says “you might as well throw it again” because otherwise the batter is likely to kill the fastball.  If there are runners on base with two outs, there is a good chance the runners are moving on the pitch as well.  Runners moving on the pitch + a fastball coming + the batter knows this = not a very good combination for the pitcher.

This is why I’m a big fan of the 2-2 fastball, especially when there are two outs.  With a 2-2 count, the batter is still in defensive mode and not sure what pitch is coming.  He can’t sit dead fastball.  A good fastball, especially on the inner half, can tie up a hitter pretty effectively.  It also is more easily thrown for a strike which prevents the count from getting to full. 

Like every other situation in baseball, there are always going to be exceptions.  Throwing a breaking pitch on a 2-2 count (and 3-2) can be good if their best hitter is up and a base is open.  It is also fine if the pitcher has great command of his off-speed pitch.

Although there is no such thing as a wrong pitch to throw, the 2-2 fastball is often a pitcher’s best option.

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