Breaking ball

In baseball, a breaking ball is a pitch that does not travel straight as it approaches the batter; it will have sideways or downward motion on it, sometimes both (see slider). A breaking ball is not a specific pitch by that name, but is any pitch that "breaks", such as a curveball, slider, or slurve. A pitcher who primarily uses breaking ball pitches is often referred to as a junkballer.

A breaking ball is more difficult than a straight pitch for a catcher to receive as breaking pitches sometimes hit the ground (whether intentionally, or not) before making it to the plate. A curveball moves down and to the left for a right handed pitcher. For a left hand pitcher, it moves down and to the right.[1] And blocking a breaking ball requires thought and preparation by the catcher. The pitcher then, must have confidence in the catcher, and the catcher in himself, to block any ball in the dirt; if there are runners on base, they will likely advance if the ball gets away from the catcher. (Whether the pitcher is right- or left-handed will dictate which direction the catcher must turn his body to adjust for the spin of an upcoming breaking ball. This necessary movement may reveal the next intended pitch to the batter; therefore an experienced catcher must fake or mask his intentions when preparing for the pitch.)

If a breaking ball fails to break, it is called a "hanging" breaking ball, or specifically, a "hanging" curve. The "hanger" presents a high, slow pitch that is easy for the batter to see, and often results in an extra-base hit or a home run.

Don Mattingly wrote in Don Mattingly's Hitting Is Simple: The ABC's of Batting .300 that "hitting a breaking ball is one of the toughest things you'll have to learn" due to the ball's very brief window in the strike zone.[2]

Sliderillustration
A common grip of a slider

See also

References

  1. ^ "How to Grip a Curve Ball". efastball.com. Archived from the original on 2017-07-24. Retrieved 2018-04-21.
  2. ^ Mattingly, Don; Rosenthal, Jim (2014). Don Mattingly's Hitting Is Simple: The ABC's of Batting 300. St. Martin's Griffin. pp. 60–63. ISBN 9781466867758.

External links

12–6 curveball

The 12–6 curveball is one of the types of pitches thrown in baseball. It is categorized as a breaking ball because of its downward break. The 12–6 curveball, unlike the normal curveball (also referred to as the "11 to 5 curve" or a "2 to 8 curve" for its motion), breaks in a downward motion in a straight line. This explains the name "12–6", because the break of the pitch refers to the ball breaking from the number 12 to the number 6 on a clock. While the 11-5 and 2-8 variations are very effective pitches, they are less effective than a true 12–6, because the ball will break into the heart of the bat more readily.The pitch is used throughout Major League Baseball. It has several nicknames, including the "yellow hammer".

Beanball

"Beanball" is a colloquialism used in baseball, for a ball thrown at an opposing player with the intention of striking them such as to cause harm, often connoting a throw at the player's head (or "bean" in old-fashioned slang). A pitcher who throws beanballs often is known as a "headhunter". The term may be applied to any sport in which a player on one team regularly attempts to throw a ball toward the general vicinity of a player of the opposite team, but is typically expected not to hit that player with the ball. In cricket, the equivalent term is "beamer". Some people use the term, beaner, though that usage is discouraged because of the negative connotations associated with that usage.

Changeup

A changeup is a type of pitch in baseball and fastpitch softball. The changeup is the staple off-speed pitch, usually thrown to look like a fastball but arriving much more slowly to the plate. Its reduced speed coupled with its deceptive delivery is meant to confuse the batter's timing. It is meant to be thrown the same as a fastball, but farther back in the hand, which makes it release from the hand slower while still retaining the look of a fastball. A changeup is generally thrown to be 8–15 miles per hour slower than a fastball. If thrown correctly, the changeup will confuse the batter because the human eye cannot discern that the ball is coming significantly slower until it is around 30 feet from the plate. For example, a batter swinging at the ball as if it were a 90 mph fastball when it is coming in at 75 mph means they are swinging too early to hit the ball well, making the changeup very effective.

Other names include change-of-pace, change or off-speed pitch. Although that term can also be used simply to mean any pitch that is slower than a fastball. In addition, before at least the second half of the twentieth century, the term "slow ball" was used to denote pitches that were not a fastball or breaking ball, which almost always meant a type of changeup. Therefore, the terms slow ball and changeup could be used interchangeably.

The changeup is analogous to the slower ball in cricket.

Corey Kluber

Corey Scott Kluber (born April 10, 1986), nicknamed Klubot, is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Cleveland Indians of Major League Baseball (MLB). He made his MLB debut in 2011, as a member of the Indians. A power pitcher, Kluber achieves high strikeout rates through a two-seam sinker and a breaking ball that variously resembles a slider and a curveball.

A three-time MLB All-Star, Kluber is a two-time winner of the Cy Young Award in the American League (AL) including in 2014, his second full season in the major leagues, and in 2017. In 2016, he was named the Sporting News AL Starting Pitcher of the Year. He led the major leagues in earned run average (ERA) in 2017, and has twice led the AL in wins. On May 13, 2015, Kluber became one of 20 pitchers in major league history to strike out at least 18 batters in a nine-inning game, doing so versus the St. Louis Cardinals. In 2018, Kluber notched his first 20-win season.

A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Kluber played high school baseball for Coppell High School in Coppell, Texas. He then attended Stetson University in DeLand, Florida, where he was named Atlantic Sun Conference Pitcher of the Year in 2007, and was inducted into the Stetson Athletics Hall of Fame in 2014. The San Diego Padres selected Kluber in fourth round of the 2007 draft, and traded him to the Indians in 2010 as part of a three-team transaction. Kluber established himself in the Indians' starting rotation in 2013. He is signed through 2019, after agreeing to a five-year, $38.5 million contract extension with the Indians in April 2015. The Indians hold club options on Kluber's contract for the 2020 and 2021 seasons.

Dennis Lamp

Dennis Patrick Lamp (born September 23, 1952) is a former professional baseball pitcher in Major League Baseball. From 1977 through 1992, the breaking ball specialist played for the Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, Oakland Athletics, Boston Red Sox, and Pittsburgh Pirates.

Fergal Doherty

Fergal Doherty (born 7 October 1981) was a gaelic footballer from Bellaghy, County Londonderry,

Northern Ireland. He played for Derry, with whom he won a National League title. He was nominated for an All Star four times but narrowly missed out on each occasion.

Doherty played his club football for Bellaghy Wolfe Tones. Doherty won the Derry Senior Football Championship twice with the club, as well as winning the 2000 Ulster Senior Club Football Championship.

For both club and county Doherty usually played in midfield. He was highly regarded for impressive high-fielding skills and work-rate, often helping in attack and also tracking back to help in defence. His ability to win breaking ball, read the game and plug gaps was impressive. Irish News journalist Paddy Heaney says of Doherty "The Bellaghy man does not seek headlines, just victories. He was at one point the Derry captain.

Gaelic football, hurling and camogie positions

The following are the positions in the Gaelic sports of Gaelic football, hurling and camogie.

Each team consists of one goalkeeper (who wears a different colour jersey), six backs, two mid fielders, and six forwards: fifteen players in all. Some under-age games are played 13-a-side (in which case the full back and full forward positions are removed) or 11-a-side (in which case the full back, centre back, centre forward and full forward positions are removed).

The positions are listed below, with the jersey number usually worn by players in that position given.

Harvey Haddix's near-perfect game

On May 26, 1959, at Milwaukee County Stadium, Harvey Haddix of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitched a perfect game for 12 innings against the Milwaukee Braves, but lost the game in the 13th. His perfect game bid was broken up in the bottom of the 13th by a throwing error; he would lose the no-hitter, and the game with it, on a Joe Adcock hit (a baserunning mistake caused it to be changed from a 3-run home run to a 1-run double) later in the inning.

Braves starter Lew Burdette, despite giving up eight hits through nine innings, was pitching a shutout of his own. Three times, the Pirates came close to scoring the winning run for Haddix. In the third inning, a baserunning blunder by Don Hoak negated three consecutive singles; in the ninth, Bill Virdon, after reaching base on a hit with one out, advanced to third on Rocky Nelson's single; however, Bob Skinner grounded back to Burdette the threat. In the 10th inning, with the Pirates still not having scored, pinch-hitter Dick Stuart flied out to center fielder Andy Pafko on a ball that came within a few feet of a two-run home run. The Pirates also recorded hits in the 11th, 12th and 13th innings, but left a runner on base in the latter two innings.

Félix Mantilla, who entered the game in the 11th after Del Rice had pinch-hit for Johnny O'Brien, was the Braves' first hitter in the 13th inning. He hit a ground ball to third baseman Hoak, who fielded the ball cleanly but threw wide to first, pulling Nelson off the base. Mantilla was then sacrificed to second by Eddie Mathews. Haddix, his perfect game bid gone but his no-hit bid still intact, then intentionally walked Hank Aaron to set up a double play situation for Adcock, who had already grounded out twice earlier in the game, striking out the other two times. Adcock hit a fly ball to deep right-center field, just beyond the reach of right fielder Joe Christopher, who was making his Major League debut (he replaced Román Mejías in right field after Stuart had pinch-hit for Mejías), for an apparent home run, the ball landing between the outfield fence and another fence behind it, in front of a line of pine trees. Mantilla rounded third and touched home plate for the winning run; however, in the confusion, Aaron saw the ball hit the second fence but did not realize it had carried over the first and, thinking that the game had ended when Mantilla scored the winning run, rounded second and headed for the dugout. Adcock rounded the bases, running out his home run. First base umpire Frank Dascoli ruled that the final score was 2-0; he was overruled by National League president Warren Giles, who changed Adcock's home run to a double and declared that only Mantilla's run counted for a final score of 1-0. In addition to Stuart being used as a pinch-hitter, two other Pirate regulars did not play in this game: Dick Groat, who would win the 1960 National League Most Valuable Player Award, was mired in a slump and had been benched, and Roberto Clemente was sidelined with a sore shoulder.

In 1989, during a banquet attended by players from both teams commemorating the game's 30th anniversary, Milwaukee pitcher Bob Buhl told Haddix that the Braves' bullpen had stolen Smoky Burgess' signs, the Pittsburgh catcher exposing them due to a high crouch. From their bullpen, the Braves pitchers repeatedly repositioned a towel to signal for a fastball or a breaking ball, the only two pitches Haddix used in the game. If a fastball was coming, the towel was made visible to the batter; if a breaking pitch was coming, the towel was out of sight. Despite this assistance, the usually solid Milwaukee offense managed only the one hit. All but one Milwaukee hitter, Aaron, took the signals. Haddix's 12 2/3-inning complete game, in which he struck out eight batters against the team that had just won the previous two National League pennants (including winning the 1957 World Series), and featured one of the top offensive lineups in the Major Leagues, is considered by many to be the best pitching performance in Major League history. Pirate second baseman Bill Mazeroski would say, "Usually you have one or two great or spectacular defensive plays in these no-hitters. Not that night. It was the easiest game I ever played in." In 1991, Major League Baseball changed the definition of a no-hitter to "a game in which a pitcher or pitchers complete a game of nine innings or more without allowing a hit." Under this new definition, Haddix's masterpiece was one of 12 extra-inning no-hitters to be struck from the record books. Haddix's response was, "It's O.K. I know what I did." Haddix's near-perfect game is immortalized by the Baseball Project, whose song, Harvey Haddix, appears on their debut album, 2008's Volume 1: Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails.

Knuckle curve

In Major League history, the term knuckle curve or knuckle curveball has been used to describe three entirely different pitches.

The first, more common pitch called the knuckle curve is really a standard curveball, thrown with one or more of the index or mean fingers bent. According to practitioners, this gives them a better grip on the ball and allows for tighter spin and greater movement. In all other respects, this knuckle curve is identical to the standard curveball. This version of the knuckle curve is currently used by Major League pitchers Phil Hughes and Brad Peacock. Mike Mussina was well known for his incorporation of the pitch into his repertoire. Justin Verlander formerly threw a knuckle curve but was forced to abandon the pitch due to problems with blisters. This knuckle curve is usually called the spike curve by MLB players and coaches because the pitch is nothing like a knuckleball.

The second type of knuckle curve is a breaking ball that is thrown with a grip similar to the knuckleball. Unlike a knuckleball, which spins very little, a knuckle curve spins like a normal curveball because the pitcher's index and middle fingers push the top of the ball into a downward curve at the moment of release. Since only two fingers produce the spin, however, a knuckle curve does not spin as fast as a curveball, meaning the break is less sharp, and less predictable. Because this knuckle curve can be thrown with the same general motion as a fastball, it is more deceptive than a normal curveball. This kind of knuckle curve is rare—it is easier to control than a standard knuckleball, but still difficult to master. The most famous practitioners of this type of knuckle curve are Burt 'Happy' Hooton, who pitched for the Chicago Cubs and the Los Angeles Dodgers from the mid-1970s to mid-1980s, and former reliever Jason Isringhausen.

The third type of knuckle curve was thrown by Dave Stenhouse in the 1960s. Stenhouse's knuckle curve was thrown like a fastball but with a knuckleball grip. Stenhouse discovered that this pitch had excellent movement, and when he came to the majors, he utilized it as a breaking pitch. This pitch may have been the same as the knuckleball thrown by Jesse Haines and Freddie Fitzsimmons. The pitch would be perfected by Chicago White Sox legend Hoyt Wilhelm during the later stages of his career, after flirting with it for most of his time in the majors.

Lance Dickson

Lance Michael Dickson (born October 19, 1969 in Fullerton, California) is a former Chicago Cubs baseball player who played for them in 1990. He was a left-handed pitcher/right-handed batter.

Dickson graduated from Grossmont High School in 1987. He attended the University of Arizona. He was drafted by the Houston Astros on June 2, 1987 in the 37th round (953rd overall) of the amateur draft. Dickson did not sign with the team, opting to go to college and try to improve his draft prospects. On June 4, 1990, he was chosen in the first round of the amateur draft (23rd overall) by the Chicago Cubs, and signed with them seven days later.

He played in 11 minor league games and went 7-3 with a very low 0.94 ERA. He also recorded 111 strikeouts in 76​1⁄3 innings. After this performance he was called up to the major leagues and made his debut as the Cubs' starting pitcher on August 9, 1990. The second-youngest player in the league at the time of his promotion, Dickson's big-league career was nonetheless short-lived. He went 0-3 with a 7.24 ERA in his three starts, precipitating his return to the AAA Iowa Cubs. His last major league appearance was August 18, 1990.

After he went back to the minor leagues, he was chosen by the American Association managers as the best pitching prospect and possessor of the best breaking ball in the league. His record was 4-3 and had a 2.86 ERA in his 15 starts. He led the league with 92 strikeouts in 91 innings before he was injured by a stress fracture in his right foot in June 1991. During the following off-season he had arm surgery. He returned to the minor leagues after the surgery and retired from baseball in 1995.

Manus Boyle

Manus Boyle is an Irish former Gaelic footballer from Killybegs.

Nolan Ryan

Lynn Nolan Ryan Jr. (born January 31, 1947), nicknamed The Ryan Express, is an American former Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher and a previous chief executive officer (CEO) of the Texas Rangers. He is currently an executive adviser to the owner of the Houston Astros.

Over a record 27-year career, Ryan pitched for the New York Mets, California Angels, Houston Astros, and Texas Rangers. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999.Ryan was a right-handed pitcher who consistently threw pitches that were clocked above 100 miles per hour (161 km/h). He maintained this velocity throughout his career, even into his 40's. Ryan was also known to throw a devastating 12–6 curveball at exceptional velocity for a breaking ball.Ryan had a lifetime record of 324–292 (.526) and was an eight-time MLB All-Star. His 5,714 career strikeouts is an MLB record by a significant margin. He leads the runner-up, Randy Johnson, by 839 strikeouts. Similarly, Ryan's 2,795 bases on balls lead second-place Steve Carlton by 962—walking over 50% more hitters than any other pitcher in MLB history. Ryan's lifetime batting average against of .204 is also a major league record. Ryan, Pedro Martínez, Randy Johnson, and Sandy Koufax are the only four pitchers inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame who had more strikeouts than innings pitched. Ryan is one of only three players in history to have his number retired by at least three teams, along with Jackie Robinson (whose number was retired by Major League Baseball) and Frank Robinson.

Ryan is the all-time leader in no-hitters with seven, three more than any other pitcher. He is tied with Bob Feller for the most one-hitters, with 12. Ryan also pitched 18 two-hitters. Despite this, he never pitched a perfect game, nor did he ever win a Cy Young Award. Ryan is one of only 29 players in baseball history to have appeared in Major League baseball games in four different decades.

Ron Kulpa

Ronald Clarence Kulpa (born October 5, 1968) is an umpire in Major League Baseball. He wears uniform number 46.

Scott Brown (baseball)

Scott Edward Brown (born August 30, 1956) is a retired Major League Baseball pitcher. He played during one season at the major league level for the Cincinnati Reds. He was drafted by the Reds in the 4th round of the 1975 amateur draft. Brown played his first professional season with their Rookie league Billings Mustangs in 1975, and his last season with the Kansas City Royals' Triple-A affiliate, the Omaha Royals, in 1983.

Apparently, Mr. Brown had a powerful arm but never developed a breaking ball. In fact, he didn't know what a breaking ball was. In an article appearing in the Dayton Daily News, Baseball Hall of Fame writer Hal McCoy recounted a story with clubhouse manager Rick Stowe.

“We had this big ol’ country boy pitcher back in the early 1980s,” said Stowe. “He could really throw hard. But he didn’t have a breaking pitch. Somebody told him he needed a curveball. So he asked my dad (long-time Reds clubhouse manager Bernie Stowe), ‘Where do I get one of those curveballs?’ True story, Somebody told him to go to a sporting good store and buy them. And he did go to a sporting goods store and ask for curveballs.”

We couldn’t remember his name. Not for about 15 minutes and I said, “He always wore cowboy boots and a wide leather belt with a big cowboy buckle.” But no name.

Finally, his first name came to me, “Scott,” I said. And Rick Stowe jumped in with, “Brown. That’s right. Scott Brown."

Slider

In baseball, a slider is a breaking ball pitch that tails laterally and down through the batter's hitting zone; it is thrown with less speed than a fastball but greater than the pitcher's curveball.

The break on the pitch is shorter than that of the curveball, and the release technique is 'between' those of a curveball and a fastball. The slider is similar to the cutter, a fastball pitch, but is more of a breaking ball than the cutter. The slider is also known as a yakker or a snapper.

Starting pitcher

In baseball (hardball or softball), a starting pitcher or starter is the first pitcher in the game for each team. A pitcher is credited with a game started if they throw the first pitch to the opponent's first batter of a game. Starting pitchers are expected to pitch for a significant portion of the game, although their ability to do this depends on many factors, including effectiveness, stamina, health, and strategy.

A starting pitcher in professional baseball usually rests three, four, or five days after pitching a game before pitching another. Therefore, most professional baseball teams have four, five or six starting pitchers on their rosters. These pitchers, and the sequence in which they pitch, is known as the rotation. In modern baseball, a five-man rotation is most common.In contrast, a pitcher who enters the game after the first pitch of the game is a relief pitcher. Occasionally, an opening pitcher is used for only a few innings, and is replaced by a long reliever or a pitcher who would typically be a starting pitcher.

The Greenberg Variations

The Greenberg Variations is the fifth solo album by American composer and producer Kramer, released on March 25, 2003 by Tzadik Records.

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