Pitching Inside

I am doing research on pitching inside. Mainly looking for the intent of pitching inside to move a hitter's feet, his hips, and his hands.

What tendencies of a hitter provoke the need to move any of these 3 areas on the hitter and how it sets up pitches throughout the at bat?
I heard Orel Hershiser break this down masterfully once during a game he announced a few years ago, just can't recall the exact words. 

Can't seem to find this info anywhere.

Thanks

 
 
Original Post

In my humble opinion, a pitcher should throw inside to establish the inner 1/3 of the plate.  It seems today the emphasis is on pitching away.  I hate it!!  When my son was younger, 9 or 10, he went through a phase where I could not get him to throw inside.  We had a discussion about this one day.  He was very frank with me and said, "Dad, I am afraid to hit him.  I don't want to hurt him."  I explained to him that hitting a batter (accidentally) was just part of the game.  If he was afraid to hit a batter, then he should never pitch again.  Son got the message.  He was the only one of our pitchers that would throw inside consistently.  Today, I think he secretly loves to come inside.  He typically establishes the inside very early in the game and then adjusts as needed, especially to a lefty.  It makes his curveball almost unhittable.  The only time I hate the inside pitch is on a 0-2 or 1-2 if the pitcher is not confident and has good control.  Nothing worse than setting up a batter perfectly only to put him on base freely.  Always seems to come back to bite you on the bottom.

More importantly it forces hitters to speed their barrel up to get to the inside pitch.  Once the hitter has sped his barrel up he opens himself up to not being able to stay back on off speed or even a fastball to the outside of the plate.  The reason the inside of the plate is neglected is because most youth ball coaches do not understand this and don't want their pitchers to leave a pitch over the plate or hit the batter.  Unfortunately most HS coaches I have run across feel the same. 

Originally Posted by IEBSBL:  True, but maybe an umpire can chime in that has some youth (below high school) experience.  I have heard that an umpire in youth ball is taught to call an outside pitch (the width of) two balls off the plate a strike, but not call an inside on the corner pitch a strike.  And kids learn to throw to the strike zone.  For "safety" purposes...

More importantly it forces hitters to speed their barrel up to get to the inside pitch.  Once the hitter has sped his barrel up he opens himself up to not being able to stay back on off speed or even a fastball to the outside of the plate.  The reason the inside of the plate is neglected is because most youth ball coaches do not understand this and don't want their pitchers to leave a pitch over the plate or hit the batter.  Unfortunately most HS coaches I have run across feel the same. 

 

I never give up trying to get my guys to go inside.  But it's hard to overcome my pitchers thinking that if they miss small off-the-plate on the inside, they don't get much help from the umpires, and that if they miss big off-the-plate, the batter gets a free pass.

Originally Posted by IEBSBL:

More importantly it forces hitters to speed their barrel up to get to the inside pitch.  Once the hitter has sped his barrel up he opens himself up to not being able to stay back on off speed or even a fastball to the outside of the plate.  The reason the inside of the plate is neglected is because most youth ball coaches do not understand this and don't want their pitchers to leave a pitch over the plate or hit the batter.  Unfortunately most HS coaches I have run across feel the same. 

Easy to tell a youth pitcher why we need to own the inside. Quite another for the kid to deploy repeatable mechanics and have confidence in pitch location. The fear factor of one getting away up and in is very real. More so than leaving a pitch middle-middle IMO. The coaches I know are very aware of inside pitching and its value. Its a continual work in progress for the pitcher and coaches.

My son lives inside. Works very well in "jamming" hitters. his 2 seam fastball goes curves back into and down at RH hitter. It is one of his strikeout pitches (or was in HS, we will see in college   ).  I knew he was going to be ok with that at 9 when he hit the very first batter he ever faced. The boy wasn't hurt though i am sure it left a mark. My son looked over at me and shrugged.

 

Much like somone else said it is a part of the plate and as a pitcher it certainly helps if you are willing to pitch to all parts of it. The dang thing is only 17" wide, why cut off any part of it and make it harder.  

Originally Posted by IEBSBL:

Go44Dad and GaptwoGAP, I get all of the reasons that are floating out there in the world but none the less it is something that still has to be learned if the player is going to be ultimately successful.  

Agree with your point about it has to be learned to be successful IEBSBL. In my experience in youth ball, its not that the coaches do not teach it for fear of hitting a batter or leaving one over the plate, but rather the coaches do not put in the side work with their pitchers to work on command, control, and the mental piece. In the end it comes down to the command and guts of the pitcher. It takes time to develop this IMO.

Lots of great points.  Lefthook found his success on what was stated above.  He found the inside with confidence summer before SR yr.  Now, he had a great fall at his JUCO and much of it was because he is not afraid to come inside to anyone.  It's like adding a fourth pitch

Originally Posted by GAPTWOGAP:  thanks.  I have posted to other forums.  let's talk pitching is one of them.  I have reached out to Hershiser via Twitter.  So I am waiting to hear back from him.  I have searched all through the Internet with the likes of the legends of the name you mentioned.  Also, went through every baseball book in my library that discusses pitching strategy.  It has become the Holy Grail at this point.     It's highly valuable information that Hershiser masterfully explained.  

Good luck in your search.. Let's talk Pitching forum search? Pedro Martinez, Clemens, Ryan, Gibson, Maddox? Maybe research those guys for detail ? Maybe reach out directly to Herhiesher via twitter?

 

 

Here is an article on the subject:

 

http://www.providencejournal.c...-the-big-leagues.ece

 

Saying that you need to pitch inside is one thing, but executing are two different things for pitchers, since they don't work enough on the arm side of the plate in their bullpens. Also once young pitchers move to the big field they usually don't have enough velocity to be able to work inside safely. Add to this the fact is that you are going to get hurt less often if you are down and away in the zone. When you add metal bats, and college players leaning over the plate to get a HBP, it makes it even more difficult. it is easy for us armchair pitchers to say yes you have to pitch inside but executing it is another story, which is why you see less of it at the college and HS level. 

Originally Posted by BK37:
Originally Posted by GAPTWOGAP:  thanks.  I have posted to other forums.  let's talk pitching is one of them.  I have reached out to Hershiser via Twitter.  So I am waiting to hear back from him.  I have searched all through the Internet with the likes of the legends of the name you mentioned.  Also, went through every baseball book in my library that discusses pitching strategy.  It has become the Holy Grail at this point.     It's highly valuable information that Hershiser masterfully explained.  

Good luck in your search.. Let's talk Pitching forum search? Pedro Martinez, Clemens, Ryan, Gibson, Maddox? Maybe research those guys for detail ? Maybe reach out directly to Herhiesher via twitter?

 

 

Sure thing.. You may consider looking into Pittsburg's Clint Hurdle/Ray Searage.

Clint is pretty good with communicating the value of pitching inside. Hope Orel gets back to ya. 

 

 

Originally Posted by GAPTWOGAP:  thanks again!   I will look into what Clint Hurdle has to say.  I did come across an article stating how the Pirates pitch inside more than any other team.  It's a huge factor to their organization's huge turnaround over the last few years.  
Originally Posted by BK37:
Originally Posted by GAPTWOGAP:  thanks.  I have posted to other forums.  let's talk pitching is one of them.  I have reached out to Hershiser via Twitter.  So I am waiting to hear back from him.  I have searched all through the Internet with the likes of the legends of the name you mentioned.  Also, went through every baseball book in my library that discusses pitching strategy.  It has become the Holy Grail at this point.     It's highly valuable information that Hershiser masterfully explained.  

Good luck in your search.. Let's talk Pitching forum search? Pedro Martinez, Clemens, Ryan, Gibson, Maddox? Maybe research those guys for detail ? Maybe reach out directly to Herhiesher via twitter?

 

 

Sure thing.. You may consider looking into Pittsburg's Clint Hurdle/Ray Searage.

Clint is pretty good with communicating the value of pitching inside. Hope Orel gets back to ya. 

 

 

 

Originally Posted by BOF:

Here is an article on the subject:

 

http://www.providencejournal.c...-the-big-leagues.ece

 

Saying that you need to pitch inside is one thing, but executing are two different things for pitchers, since they don't work enough on the arm side of the plate in their bullpens. Also once young pitchers move to the big field they usually don't have enough velocity to be able to work inside safely. Add to this the fact is that you are going to get hurt less often if you are down and away in the zone. When you add metal bats, and college players leaning over the plate to get a HBP, it makes it even more difficult. it is easy for us armchair pitchers to say yes you have to pitch inside but executing it is another story, which is why you see less of it at the college and HS level. 

Good stuff BOF. Interesting article too.

 

Pitching inside is becoming less and less of a strategy, and low and away is the place most are taught to live.  With the advent of all of the body armour that batters are taking to the plate, and leaning over - they make the middle out pitch into a middle pitch, and the outside pitch becomes a middle out pitch.  I also think in the MLB with immediate warnings, etc. the pitchers are afraid of throwing inside too much...days of Gibson seeing someone inch up on the plate, and getting a reminder pitch that he owns the outside part of the plate are long gone.

 

I started at the very beginning teaching BFS Jr. to pitch inside, and he throws there with as much accuracy if not more than the low and away 2 seamer.  Also, a high inside strike on an 0-2 or 1-2 count is as lethal of a strikeout pitch as any breaking stuff.

 

You gotta teach them early.....

Originally Posted by Back foot slider:

 

Pitching inside is becoming less and less of a strategy, and low and away is the place most are taught to live.  With the advent of all of the body armour that batters are taking to the plate, and leaning over - they make the middle out pitch into a middle pitch, and the outside pitch becomes a middle out pitch.  I also think in the MLB with immediate warnings, etc. the pitchers are afraid of throwing inside too much...days of Gibson seeing someone inch up on the plate, and getting a reminder pitch that he owns the outside part of the plate are long gone.

 

I started at the very beginning teaching BFS Jr. to pitch inside, and he throws there with as much accuracy if not more than the low and away 2 seamer.  Also, a high inside strike on an 0-2 or 1-2 count is as lethal of a strikeout pitch as any breaking stuff.

 

You gotta teach them early.....

HBP is a consequence of pitching inside. The pitcher still needs to go inside and establish the inner half. This battle continues today. Of note.. MLB HBP in 2014 per PA is at a level not seen in over a Century. Maybe the intentional HBP is what you speak of re.. Gibson ?  

It is also somewhat dependent on the umpires calling a strike a strike on the inside and recognizing players working a HBP, the college umpires starting working on this last year. It will be interesting to watch (at the college level) this year what happens in this regard. 

Agree.I do not watch or follow the college games as much currently, but I do see what you're saying. The college hitters seem to have more control of the plate than pitchers in games I have watched.  Many are unafarid to take the HBP, and like you say, lean in to get one.

Interesting read here:

 

http://www.sbnation.com/longfo...rofile-perry-husband

 

States that pitching inside adds to the effective velocity of the pitch and it states low and away is easier to hit than up and inside.

 

My kid LOVES to throw inside and basically has little to no regard for the hitter. He knows that to be successful, he has to establish his plate and work from there. He does hit guys unintentionally and then deals with them via his pick off move.

 

Follow up with more data:

 

http://www.beyondtheboxscore.c...e-velocity-follow-up

I think there is a big distinction of  HPB due to a hitter diving in with no fear of being hit due to all of the body armor, versus an intentional HPB.  I have heard several of Gibsons interviews where he claims he was never trying to hit guys on purpose, but of course some of the inside pitches to move hitters back "got away from him"....who knows.

 

It was really a struggle for BFS Jr. with his HS coach...all he wanted was low and away, and that is just not how he pitches...he always establishes the inside part of the plate, and will go low and away later in the game if needed.  Luckily success is rarely criticized. 

A few years ago there was a very good Hitter at a D3 school called Wabash. His name was John Holm. My son was starting, in his first conference game, of his Freshman year. He kept them in control pretty well. Some of that was from pitching inside. In the 6th inning and the score was 0-0. He had two on base.I forget the count. Holm came up to the plate and my son shook off the pitch. Coach comes out and talks to him and I could tel the coach was not happy. Son, through the pitch called and Holm sent a monster over right field fence. It was probably the second longest HR in Wabash history. 

I talked to my son later. He said he wanted to go low and away. Coach wanted him to go inside. I asked him why he wanted to go away. He said that Holm had changed where he stood in the batter box. Instead of being on top of the plate he was as far away from the plate as he could be. If he threw inside he would be in his wheel house. 

My son also watches where the ump sets up. Depending on how low they get and how close they are to the catchers shoulder, helps him determine if he will get the inside pitch called. Sometimes he will get it at the beginning of the game, but not as the game goes along. Usually he says the ump is no longer getting as low and as close to the catcher. So sometimes he pitches inside early but has to adapt as the game goes on.

Originally Posted by BishopLeftiesDad:

 

I talked to my son later. He said he wanted to go low and away. Coach wanted him to go inside. I asked him why he wanted to go away. He said that Holm had changed where he stood in the batter box. Instead of being on top of the plate he was as far away from the plate as he could be. If he threw inside he would be in his wheel house. 

My son also watches where the ump sets up. Depending on how low they get and how close they are to the catchers shoulder, helps him determine if he will get the inside pitch called.

This calls into question what does it mean to go inside, and what is the purpose?  I've always viewed going inside to mean "inside relative to where the hitter is", ie to the point of tying him up.  If a batter is off the plate then this would mean you have to come in off the plate.  This won't be called a strike, but that's not always the reason to go inside.  It would be a good set up pitch for an outside pitch.

Pitching Inside is a major part of the game.

 

Young pitchers absolutely have a fear of hitting people, no doubt about it.

We have coaches calling pitches primarily away for fear of hitting people or leaving the ball out over the plate so a majority of FB's are called down and away.  Compound that with the young hitters tendancy to want to pull everything and you have a ton of young pitchers staying down and away and not learning how to use both halves of the plate. IMO.

 

I believe you pitch inside to protect the outer half.  You must pitch IN so you can pitch away.  You are basically using your FB in to proctect your FB away.

 

I think of it like this.

If you and I ate dinner next to each other every night and you reached over and grabbed food off of my plate and I never did anything about it you would continue to reach over and grab food off of my plate.

 

Well one night you reach over and I stab your hand with a fork.  You will now think twice before feeling comfortable enough to reach over and grab my food again. You are not going to feel comfortable just reaching over.

 

I think of it as the FB in is the fork and the outer half is my food.  I'm going to protect the outer half.  I need it to survive.

 

I think young pitchers must incorporate moving the FB to both halves on flat ground to a catcher and progress to doing it during sides and progress to doing it during games.  The problem is the intensity ramps up as we move from flat ground to sideline to game so patience is a must.  I feel that is how things progress and develop so that a kid eventually feels more comfortable getting the ball in to move feet etc...

 

Once they feel comfortable and attempt it in games they must learn to do it early in the game and provided the situation and count allow, they must move feet as soon as a hitter reaches out over the plate or takes a comfortable swing.

 

Side note:  I feel the progression for young pitchers develping their FB should be in this order.

1. Learn how to pitch down in the strike zone. Down is a location too!

2. Learn how to use both halves.

3. Learn how pitch up. Mid belly and up out of zone.

 

All I know is that youth baseball must really suck in a 100 mile radius around where I live compaired to the rest of the country. Youth pitchers around here can get somewhere in the area you want the pitch. For example an outside pitch will be anywhere from a little inside to a foot outside. A middle pitch will be from a foot outside to a foot inside. A inside pitch from slightly outside to three feet behind the batter. I haven't seen any though that could pepper the low outside corner or come in on the batters hands at will. Heck I've only seen one 12 year old that could consistantly (and by that I mean 5 out of 10 times) hit the low outside corner and he was an unhitable beast.

Hahaha sorry.

I do believe kids should be taught to try and throw inside and by try I mean call the pitch there. Then when the kid actually hits the mitt on the inside really praise it. A coach just has to accept its gonna put a few kids on and chose development over winning.
Not too many people in pro ball like being hit with 92-95 mph fastballs. Hands and wrists get broken.  Time is lost.  In the big leagues it could be your best player going down.  So I will beg to differ that guys are marching to plate willing to take one for the team so to speak.
 
At the lower levels of college there are certainly guys who don't mind getting hit with 85.  Also remember that in college you now must make an attempt to get out of the way.  So if you want to stand there and take it then I guess you could just stand there and take it till you can't take it any longer or until you decide to make an attempt to get out of the way.
 
If you get a reputation for not pitching in it will be a slow miserable existance as a pitcher. 
 
Originally Posted by TPM:
Just wait until your pitchers go to college or proball and the strike zone shrinks like a balloon and the batter willndo anything to get on base.
They wont live on the inside anymore.

 

I would also disagree that the strike zone shrinks.  They make you throw it over the plate.  More so in pro ball than college.  Originally Posted by TPM:
Just wait until your pitchers go to college or proball and the strike zone shrinks like a balloon and the batter willndo anything to get on base.
They wont live on the inside anymore.

 

Please reread my post. I said live on the inside corner. College hitters and pro hitters are much smarter than HS or travel players. A college freshman pitcher isnt going to challlenge the inside corner to a junior or senior twice his size. 
Professional hitters know how to get hit. And milb guys having trouble hitting the ball will take chances to get on base because that might catch someones attention.
I definetly agree that pitchers need to learn to come inside. But they also need to understand that the scenerio changes as you move forward.

I appreciate all your insights and resources you shared.  

 

The info I am looking for is more specific:

 

what is the purpose to pitch inside to move a hitter's feet?

 

what is the purpose to pitch inside to move a hitter's hips?

 

what is the purpose to pitch inside to move a hitter's hands?

 

Its more than just pitching inside to intimidate the hitter and to make the outside part of the plate more effective.  What tendencies in a hitter's approach show the need to move any of these 3 areas on the hitter off the plate?

Originally Posted by Go44dad:
Originally Posted by IEBSBL:  True, but maybe an umpire can chime in that has some youth (below high school) experience.  I have heard that an umpire in youth ball is taught to call an outside pitch (the width of) two balls off the plate a strike, but not call an inside on the corner pitch a strike.  And kids learn to throw to the strike zone.  For "safety" purposes...

More importantly it forces hitters to speed their barrel up to get to the inside pitch.  Once the hitter has sped his barrel up he opens himself up to not being able to stay back on off speed or even a fastball to the outside of the plate.  The reason the inside of the plate is neglected is because most youth ball coaches do not understand this and don't want their pitchers to leave a pitch over the plate or hit the batter.  Unfortunately most HS coaches I have run across feel the same. 

 


Urban Legend on the Youth Strike zone.  No such things are taught.  Good Umpires call the game as it is played and do not anticipate the calls. 

 

Reality is though - youth coaches teach down and away so if the umpires never called the ball at the edge games would be walk fests and there would be screams of squeezing across the land.  In a Rec League with the control being a notch below travel at 10,11 and 12 those games would be truly awful.  So everyone knows the deal and - Play Ball!

 

Not pitching inside though really makes the strike zone about 6 inches wide.  A batter can crowd and dive and only has to worry about an area 2 or 3 inches on either side of the edge of the plate.  That should be a huge advantage for a hitter.

 

If you are facing a pitcher that cannot come in you should be able to club him unless you really can't handle the outside pitch or his stuff is just that good.  But if you bang the ball the opposite way with authority you should be able to hammer about 80 to 90% of HS pitching.  Sit away and hit away.    

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