By Dan Gazaway
Growing up I was instructed by some of the best pitching coaches in the world. I was always told to pitch in to win. I think we have all heard it before, but most coaches never teach this important technique. The fact is, great pitchers find success throwing on the inside part of the plate. I think throwing inside gives the pitcher more of an advantage simply because of the psychological game we play with hitters. We show them we are not afraid to come inside to set ourselves up for our strikeout pitch.
It is important for a pitcher to control the strike zone to be effective. If a pitcher doesn’t utilize the inside part of the plate, the hitter has that much more of an advantage to get on base. If you’re a pitcher you need to get the confidence to have the ability to throw effective inside pitches.
One of the many reasons I like throwing inside so much is that it appears, to the batter, that the ball is coming quicker. The batter has to hit the ball in front of the plate to connect and avoid getting jammed. So, as a pitcher, you are working with distance here. If you throw seventy, it may seem like you throw seventy-two miles an hour because the batter has less time to react to the pitch. Of course, on rare occasions when the hitter steps in the bucket, or is quick, you can avoid the inner part of the plate.
Why don’t more pitchers throw inside? They fear hitting the batter, getting behind in the count simply because they are not confident enough in their ability to control the inside pitch. This thinking happens particularly in Little League and high school levels.
If you have a fear of hitting a batter, maybe you should tryout for another position. Just kidding! But you need to understand that getting hit by the ball is bound to happen and its part of the game.