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Backing Up Bases - Pitching

Backing Up Bases - Pitching

A pitcher should always back up the bases. By backing up the bases a pitcher could possibly save himself an earned run. Why wouldn't you want to do everything you can to keep the base runners where they should be? A pitcher needs to back up bases anytime the baseball is in play. There is always somewhere a pitcher should be.

On a single the pitcher should be aligning himself behind the second baseman. One a double the pitcher should be aligned behind the 3rd baseman and where the baseball is coming from. On a triple he should be behind home plate ready for a ricishet off the catcher's equiptment. Now when I say aligned behind 2nd, 3rd, and home, I mean well behind.

When the pitcher is backing up 3rd base he should be as far away as he can be. Up against the stadium wall or right in front of the dugout (however the field is designed). That goes for the same with backing up home plate.

Now these are not the only situations that a pitcher has to back up bases for. What about a bunt, pick off, or hit and run. In these situation a pitcher must be backing up somewhere to.

Let's take for example a runner on first base and the pitcher picks to first and the runner goes. Some coaches teach the pitcher to go to first so they can be the next in line for the run down. Others teach the pitcher to go to third base in case the ball gets away. The catcher will be the one next in line for the run down in this case. Personally I think that the pitcher should go to first. If you conduct the run down properly is should only take one throw anyway.

Next let's assume there is a bunt with a runner on first. It depends on the bunt play but for this situation let's say the third baseman is charging. The pitcher would then have to run all the way to third to cover the base. There is always somewhere that a pitcher must be when it comes to covering and backing up bases.

It is suggested to get with your coach and find out where the pitcher should be on each and every situation. That is what practice is for! Oh and don't forget to cover second base when there is a short pop up into shallow centerfield. The second baseman and shortstop usually go for this one and coaches get real mad when there is nobody covering second base.