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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Baseball Pitching Tips - Being Unpredictable is a Must!

By Larry Cicchiello

Let's switch sports to football, but just for a second. I thoroughly enjoy it when a quarterback throws a "bomb" for a touchdown on first down. The reason for the successful "bomb" is usually that it was unpredictable and most likely the defense was looking for a running play. I think you now know where we're going with this.

As a baseball pitcher, you too better be unpredictable, especially when facing the better hitters! Try not to get into patterns where hitters know what pitch you are going to throw next.

A very common problem with many pitchers is that they throw a first pitch fastball to most hitters. If a weak hitter is up, a first pitch fast ball is actually recommended. Just proceed with caution if a good hitter is up.

Let's say you are pitching and the first three batters in a game you start off with first pitch fast balls. If you throw a first pitch fastball to their number four hitter, you really have no right to be upset if he hits a bomb off you. No right to be upset whatsoever because you were predictable.

Good hitters look for patterns like this. They are constantly looking to gain any advantage and that's one of the reasons they are good hitters. Good hitters talk about opposing pitcher's tendencies constantly while on the bench. As a pitcher, you want them to be talking about how you will throw any pitch on any count and how unpredictable you are. Pitchers must mix in an occasional breaking ball on the first pitch to keep hitters honest.

Being unpredictable is not just limited to throwing a breaking ball or an off speed pitch on the first pitch to a hitter. You can also be unpredictable when the count is 2-0 or 3-1 to a good hitter. With the count in the hitter's favor at 2-0 or 3-1, you can practically see the smoke coming out of the good hitter's ears as he's "digging in" for your fast ball. What a perfect time to go off speed.

Batting averages on 2-0 or 3-1 off speed pitches are extremely low!

Larry Cicchiello is the author of "Excellent Baseball Coaching: 30 Seconds Away." His site offers many FREE baseball tips on hitting, baseball pitching tips, baseball coaching drills, baseball fielding tips, etc. You will be FULLY EQUIPPED!

You can visit his website at

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Hello Baseball Friend,
I welcome any comments or suggestions. If you have a question or a topic that you would like to read about, please leave a comment and I will try to address that topic as soon as I can. Good luck in the coming season!
Have a great day, Nick