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Pitch Sequence - What to throw and when?

Pitch Sequence - What to throw and when?

So, what's the best pitch sequence?  What pitches should I throw and when should I throw them?

I wish pitching was that easy.  You get a guy 0-1 with an outside fastball and then automatically throw a curveball for strike two.  Unfortunately, that's not the way it is.

In order to be successful pitchers we must mix up our pitch sequence.  There is no certain formula on what pitches to throw and when to throw them.  Every batter and every situation is different.

There are a few things that you must know about pitch sequence and mixing up your pitches.

1)  As you get into higher levels of baseball, the scouting reports become more specific.  You can expect every hitter on the other team to know exactly what percent of fastballs, curveballs, and change ups that you throw in each count.  Therefore, the more you mix it up, the more you'll keep them guessing.

2)  Changing eye levels (throwing up and down), disrupting hitter's balance (throwing in and out), and disrupting hitter's timing (throwing fast and slow) are the best ways to mix up your pitches.  For example, throwing an up and in fastball will make the down and away curveball a very tough pitch to hit.

3)  Doubling up on pitches is not a bad thing.  Sometimes it's good to go back to back on an inside fastball, or maybe even two curveballs low and away.  It will keep hitters guessing even more if you can effectively throw these pitches for strikes.  Just remember, if you are throwing an off speed pitch back to back, the second one must be "lower and slower" than the first.

4)  Never throw your worst off speed pitch after your best off speed pitch.  Let's take for example a pitcher who throws a fastball, curveball, and a change up.  Let's say that this pitcher's best pitch is his fastball, followed by his curveball, and then his change up is his least effective pitch.  This pitcher should never throw a change up after a curveball.  The reason for this is because the pitcher will speed up the hitter's bat with his curveball and have him ready to hit his 3rd best pitch which is around the same speed.  The batter will be licking his lips as that change up comes floating in.

Those are just a few things to think about when it comes to pitch sequence and mixing up your pitches.  Like I said before, there is no secret formula on what pitch to throw and when to throw it, but these few tips should help you out with developing your own pitch sequence or pitching philosophy.

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