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Thoughts on pitching "Up and In"

Greenmonsters

Wannabe Duck Boat Owner
Feb 21, 2009
6,178
0
New England
OK, first I'll admit that I'm an ex-college BB catcher so I know that I'm a little out of my element here. That said, for better or worse, I'm working w/ Cs (DD included) and Ps on a new U14 travel team (all 14s FYI). Pitch repertoire varies by pitcher, but typically includes a decently commanded FB, workable change, and developing curve/screw +/- a drop, but no rises. I've been getting feedback from some of the Ps about not wanting to pitch up and in. By "up and in" in no way do I mean a brushback or beanball, just one ball up, one ball in from the top inside corner of the strike zone. I like to see this used as a waste pitch when ahead in the count to set up the low outside corner for later in the count.

Talked to several of the girls' pitching coaches (who I gladly leave all the pitching mechanics too) and their thoughts varied on the apparent reluctance of the girls to throw it - P worried about missing over the plate w/ a long-ball result, or fear of hitting the batter when missing in, or they don't think it will be effective (i.e., good hitters won't swing at it).

Until the rise develops, what/where else do you throw up to keep the hitters honest and not locking in low?

Interested in your thoughts and suggestions.

Tim
 
May 12, 2008
2,217
0
I've got no problem with that pitch. I've seen lineups you could handcuff all day long by jamming pitch after pitch. Don't necessarily have to leave the zone.
 
Jan 6, 2009
165
0
Texas
up and in

We have used that pitch just like you described it, a throw away, and a setup, and we have used since my pitcher was 9, now 15.
 

Greenmonsters

Wannabe Duck Boat Owner
Feb 21, 2009
6,178
0
New England
Agreed, but have you encountered any reluctance from pitchers to throw there? Is there an underlying fear of beaning someone and how do/did you overcome that? My pitchers are throwing up/in because I'm asking them to try it, but I don't see the same confidence or conviction as when they throw to other areas. I'm hoping that they'll be able to get to that point after they see or realize its effectiveness as either a low and away set up, swing and miss by either an overpowered hitter, or the occasional undisciplined chase by a good hitter.
 
May 12, 2008
2,217
0
There is more reluctance on average to pitch like Gibson among females. But not all of them.
 

Coach-n-Dad

Crazy Daddy
Oct 31, 2008
1,011
0
My DD is a 95 pitcher and she tells me that although she doesn't think she will hit the batter, there is some lack of confidence in throwing up and in. I get the same response from the other 2 pitchers on the team. I personally think they are afraid of hitting the batter and won't admit to it.

BTW, they will throw it in a game and it is successful. I tell my pitchers to start with that pitch if batter is crowding the plate, batter grips bat very tightly with top hand, bat behind batters head or stance is closed (tough to get ANY inside pitch in those situations), then throw low and away. Also in the situation that Donnis stated.
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,845
63
Dallas, Texas
Green: You should teach the kids "why". Boys tend to do what they see the professionals do without any thought to "why am I doing this?" Boys therefore tend to do stuff without thought--which is not always good. Girls, on the other hand, have to be taught "why". Once you teach them "why", then they act accordingly.

The "why" is something like this:

(A) What is a strike? A strike is a ball that goes over any part of the plate (including the black).
(B) If a batter moves up so her shoulder covers the black part of the plate, then the batter has reduced the size of the strike zone--thereby making the pitcher's job more difficult.
(C) The only way to keep a batter "honest" is to throw inside to keep the batter away from the plate so that the pitcher can work the entire plate. The pitcher is not trying to "hurt" the batter. The pitcher is simply trying to make sure that the batter does not get an unfair advantage.

Start teaching that "pitching is a game within a game". It is a constant battle of wills between the batter and the pitcher. The batter is trying to gain an advantage at the expense of the pitcher.

My DD never worried about hitting a batter. In college, she learned to throw directly at the batter if the batter stuck her head out over the plate on a bunt attempt.
 

halskinner

Banned
May 7, 2008
2,695
0
My DD is a 95 pitcher and she tells me that although she doesn't think she will hit the batter, there is some lack of confidence in throwing up and in. I get the same response from the other 2 pitchers on the team. I personally think they are afraid of hitting the batter and won't admit to it.

BTW, they will throw it in a game and it is successful. I tell my pitchers to start with that pitch if batter is crowding the plate, batter grips bat very tightly with top hand, bat behind batters head or stance is closed (tough to get ANY inside pitch in those situations), then throw low and away. Also in the situation that Donnis stated.
It IS a confidence thing. It's also a 'control of the batter' kind of mental thing too.

Tell your pitcher to start with that pitch now and then and especially in the 1st inning. Make sure the catcher mentions to the ump that the pitcher has been throwing too high and too iinside lately, not sure whats up with that but its been a problem. Have her show concern for the batter. Make suere the batter hears her say that too.

Then throw the first one or two high and tight. They will give you lots of room, especially if you have real good speed.

Dont just strike the batters out when they are in the box, get them mentally prepared to strike out the NEXT time they are up.

The strike zone belongs to the pitcher, unless the pitcher gives it away. :)
 

Amy in AZ.

Super Moderator
May 7, 2008
8,507
38
Tucson
I agree with everything posted here.

Make certain that the catcher is giving the target and isn't having to move her glove 6 inches.

A good verbal cue to give for this pitch is "you and I." (U and I - up and in.)
 

Coach-n-Dad

Crazy Daddy
Oct 31, 2008
1,011
0
Make sure the catcher mentions to the ump that the pitcher has been throwing too high and too iinside lately, not sure whats up with that but its been a problem. Have her show concern for the batter. Make suere the batter hears her say that too. :)
HA HA HA, great idea. My Catcher would LOVE to do this!

Thanks for the tip :D
 

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