tipping pitches.

May 8, 2008

First of all…this is a baseball related post.

What is tipping pitches?

This is when a pitcher does some sort of action, be it small or big, when he is throwing a certain pitch. A good team will pick up on this eventually. A great team has guys watching the pitcher from the start of the game to see if he is tipping anything. I bring this up because of a recent article I read by Pell City, AL native and fellow JSU alum, Todd Jones. He was talking about the subject and some past experiences and different pitchers and what they did to “tip” their pitches. These ranged from looking down the third base line, raising the eyebrows and biting their bottom lip. ALL of which WILL be picked up on…and then you are in trouble because, I don’t care what level you are at in baseball, if the hitter knows what is coming you are dead. You’ve just won 85% of the battle for the hitter.

My junior year we played Ole Miss for a 3 game set and on Saturday they started a guy that was throwing about 92 MPH consistent and had a good curveball. And, let me say, 92 is pumping it in there pretty good. However, the fastball was pretty flat but he did have a good curveball. Well, about the 3rd inning, one of our guys said “hey, I think everytime he looks into his glove for the grip, he is throwing a curve.” Well, we watched him close for about 15 pitches and sure enough he was…every single time. If he was throwing a fastball he just looked in and pitched. Here’s the thing…he only had 2 pitches, a fastball and a curve. So, he has just let us know every single pitch that is coming our way. A fight at the bat rack then ensued. We knew what was coming every pitch and just sat back and ripped that 92 MPH fastball all over the yard and looked at curveballs. They finally took him out and the next pitcher didn’t have any obvious tells…that we could see.

Well, as any true baseball lovers would do, we told the guy the next day during BP about his tell. He couldn’t believe it and thanked us. They weren’t in our conference so it was cool for us to let him in on it. That is to say that he later on could still subconsiously pick it right back up again.

So, as Todd Jones said, if you see a pitcher on your favorite team “tipping” his pitches…tell him. He’ll thank you.

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