Baseball Pitches Explained

5 Baseball Pitches Explained

When you want to start a play in baseball, you have to throw the ball towards the home plate. This is what is referred to as pitching. The player who throws the pitch is called a pitcher.

There are several types of pitches that they can throw in this game. These pitches have differences that are used to categories them. You identify a type of pitch by its speed, movement, direction, the angle of the arm, and the positioning of both the wrist and hand.

The aim of having so many varieties is to confuse the batter with the hope of getting them out which helps the defensive team immensely. It’s the work of the pitcher to come to the aid of the defense by manipulating how he holds the ball just before releasing it.

The trajectory of the ball is shifted by how it accelerates in the air. All this is due to the different grip before you send it flying towards the home plate or bases. You have to learn and even master the different types of pitches to excel as a pitcher in baseball.

  1. Fastball

To start, you have to learn about the fastball which is the most basic pitch in baseball. Every pitcher has to know how to release a fastball. The ball is gripped in a certain way to deliver this pitch.

You start by resting two fingers on the seams of the ball. You release the ball with the palm facing the side of the batter. This is the best way to ensure the ball goes off at a high speed towards the home plate.

The speed is mainly at 90 to 95 MPH for the average pitcher. The best pitchers in the world are however known to exceed this to 100 MPH. This type of pitch releases the ball at such a high speed that it’s able to cut through the air with sidespin as it heads towards the batter. This is a basic two-seam fastball.

  1. Sinker

With this type of pitch, a pitcher can cause differences in speed and movement of the ball. It all depends on how he releases the ball. He can even opt to spin it in a certain way with his palm facing away from him.

The ball tends to sink while approaching the batter who is situated at the other end on the home plate. When delivered perfectly, the batter misses the ball or swings in a way that causes it to hit the ground.

  1. Changeup

When it comes to the changeup, it shares similarities to the fastball only it’s delivered at a slower velocity. You have to twisty the arm further out to reduce the speed by which you deliver the ball. This is done deliberately to throw off the batter in terms of his timing. The further you can get it, the slower it’s delivered.

The eye of the batter can’t predict that the ball is coming towards him at a slower pace than a fastball. When you do it correctly, the batter will swing before the ball reaches and miss. You use the same arm to throw it like a fastball which is why it gets so confusing to the batter.

  1. Curveball

When throwing a curveball, you tend to throw it using a different hand movement and grip. This makes the ball move forward with a distinct spin. This spin makes it appear to dive as it approaches the home plate. It has different variations including the knuckle curve and the 12-6. You have to grip the ball in a certain way almost similar to the way you hold a glass of water.

You have to deliver this pitch differently from all the rest because when releasing the ball, it first has to lose contact with the thumb then the index finger. This is what results in the spin you need for a perfect curveball delivery.

  1. Slider

Another type of pitch you must know in baseball is the slider. You delivered it in a manner that breaks the ball by making it tail to the lateral position whizzing down past the hitting zone where the batter is situated. Its delivery is slow and has a shorter break. To release the best slider, you have to do so through the index finger and the ball tends to go a little sideways.


Baseball entails using a bat and a ball on a field. You have to learn everything about the game to understand how it’s played. At the top of your list has to be the different types of pitches there are. You have to know what differentiates them from how the ball is grasped to the velocity at which it’s delivered. Even the direction you release the ball in is different. All these types of pitches are important because it could be how you win or lose a game.

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