Waste Pitches

I think you want to avoid throwing a fat one with two strikes and rather miss an inch but I'm also not a fan of missing the zone by a foot or more just to "change the eye level". Better shoot for the black and if you miss by 2 inches you still have a good chance to get a swing but a chin high fastball or a 58 foot slider usually will just do nothing.

Dominik85 posted:

 but a chin high fastball or a 58 foot slider usually will just do nothing.

They can both be very effective. I'm not sure about across the board for ALL pitchers but if you have the velo and plus secondary stuff, it works. Obviously GM is one of the greatest pitchers of all time and his opinion is hard to argue but not everyone is GM and has his control or repertoire of pitches.

Ben McDonald said whenever he had an 0-2 count he always tried to move something. Either the face or the feet. Meaning he would throw an inside fastball below the knees or above the shoulders. I passed that philosophy to my son about two years ago. He has ignored me for two years and just tries to put the guy away.

Shoveit4Ks posted:
Dominik85 posted:

 but a chin high fastball or a 58 foot slider usually will just do nothing.

They can both be very effective. I'm not sure about across the board for ALL pitchers but if you have the velo and plus secondary stuff, it works. Obviously GM is one of the greatest pitchers of all time and his opinion is hard to argue but not everyone is GM and has his control or repertoire of pitches.

i think the bolded is spot on, a strike on the extreme edge or just off is wonderful, fastball middle in not so much.

GM spent much of his career pitching to umps who didn't make him throw the ball over the plate and his command was so good he seldom did. With the zone umps are calling today it would be interesting to see how he would adjust.

With all due respect to Mr Maddux (I'm a huge fan, Glavine #1, Greg a close 2nd), he was able to attack the hitters 0-2 as he had crazy movement on his pitches.  That ability actually gave him a huge advantage, as players had to protect the plate and they didn't know where his pitch would start or end up.

When you're working with a youth pitcher, who has a fastball that you can get by most hitters, or a developing curve, 0-2 should be out of the zone.  If no one is one, hit the darn backstop, freak the 16 year old out, then come back and paint the corner.

The cult of 'Waste pitches' should be banned from baseball. 

Seriously, I go to HS games and watch 0-2 counts turn into walks more often than not.  It's such a stupid idea.

My own son threw 20+ complete games in HS with low pitch counts because he didn't throw waste pitches (on purpose).

For HS,  I strongly believe:   Attack in the zone on 0-2.  Try to get a result.  I could care less if they give up an 0-2 hit.   But it's a tough sell.   Since the first time they stepped on the mound--or watched a game on TV-- they've heard, "That pitch was too good for 0-2,"  uttered in disgust..

 

Not every 0-2 is the same.  Runner at 2nd, with two outs.  A great hitter at the plate, pitcher throws a quality FB down and away for called strike one.  Throws a second FB dead red and gets fouled back, strike 2.  A hanging curveball or CU up in the zone is trouble, and pitcher knows it.  So, he over compensates and spikes a curve 5 feet short.  Comes back with a low and away FB a foot off the plate 2-2.  Now he has to realize a hit is worse than a walk.  Throws quality a CU low that locks up the hitter, the hitter takes, called ball 3,  3-2.  Throws a quality FB that is fouled off.  FB up out of the zone ball 4.    

With age, experience, confidence, and command of secondary pitches, that 0-2 curveball needs to move towards the black of the plate.

old_school posted:

 missing fat 0-2 is worse then wasting a pitch. 

That's a good way of putting it.

Though I respectfully disagree with it.

For a coach like myself who promotes "attack in the zone on 0-2,"  I definitely have to be OK with missing fat.  And I am.

Similarly, with our hitters, I hyper-promote "get on the fastball," which risks making  us hyper-vulnerable to offspeed.....and I'm OK with the tradeoff.

 

I completely agree with Maddux.  But all pitchers are not the same so the difference lies in how you go about it.  It drives me crazy to see an 0-2 pitch thrown in the next batters box.  That's a waste of time and energy.  Ideally an 0-2 pitch should be a "pitcher's pitch".  Close enough to look like it might be a strike but something that the hitter cant barrel up if he swings and makes contact.  And it does depend on the game situation, how good the catcher is, what the strike zone is that day, whether there is an obvious hole in that particular hitter's swing, etc.  Most hitters are looking away in an 0-2 count so if you have a good fastball and you can command it, one in under the hands isn't a bad idea.  But the key is too miss in the direction that wont hurt you.

Another tidbit from Maddux: he said that he spent 90% of his time in a bullpen session working out of the stretch because from the stretch in a game is when he'd really have to make sure to execute well. He said with no one on, he just needed to keep the ball from leaving the yard. 

SultanofSwat posted:

How many pitchers practice throwing waste pitches?

Define a waste pitch.  Are all 0-2 balls a waste pitch?  How many times have we seen 0-2 pitches out of the zone swung at and missed for strike 3?  Is that a waste pitch?

No pitcher purposely throws the ball 3 ft out of the zone.  These are simply bad pitches.  

I don't consider an 0-2 pitch thrown just off the edge of the zone a waste pitch.  

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