Two-seam fastball

A two-seam fastball is a pitch in baseball and a variant of the straight fastball. The pitch has the speed of a fastball and can also include late breaking action caused by varying the pressure of the index and middle fingers on the ball.

Grip and action

Several grips are used for a two-seam fastball, the most common of which is to place the index and middle fingers along the seams where they are closest together (where the horseshoes point in towards each other) with the thumb placed directly below on the leather with the rear of the thumb just touching the bottom near seam.[1] The arm action is identical to a four-seam fastball, although the hand action differs slightly. Typically, the two-seam has more movement if the pitcher applies index fingertip pressure, or holds the baseball deeper in the hand.[2] Both techniques cause the ball to spin out of the hand off-center and away from the pitcher, similar to the spin of a changeup.[3]

The two-seam fastball often is perceived to be slower than the four-seam fastball, but the slight pronation of the hand and off-center spin on the ball carries the ball down and toward the pitcher's dominant side, down and to the right for right-handers, and down and to the left for left-handers.[4]

Effectiveness

The two-seam fastball appears to have more movement than a four-seam fastball, but can be more difficult to master and control. The amount of break on the pitch varies greatly from pitcher to pitcher depending on velocity, arm slot angle, and pressure points of the fingers. The two-seamer is a very natural pitch to throw, and is often taught to pitchers at a very early age. Its use is widespread throughout all levels of baseball, and most pitchers at any level have a two-seamer in their repertoire. Many pitchers, especially those without exceptional velocity, prefer a two-seam fastball to the four-seam because of its movement at the plate. However, power pitchers such as Justin Verlander and Noah Syndergaard combine control, high velocity, and break to make the two-seamer one of the most effective pitches in baseball.

The velocity of this pitch also varies greatly from pitcher to pitcher. At the major collegiate level and higher, two-seam fastballs are typically thrown in the low 90s (MPH), but with much variation. Pitchers such as Greg Maddux, Bob Stanley, Brandon McCarthy, David Price, and Eddie Guardado are notable for having success at the major-league levels with two-seam fastballs in the mid 80s to lower 90s.

Notable two-seam fastball pitchers

References

  1. ^ "Two Seam Fastball Grip". EFastBall. Archived from the original on 2012-07-10. Retrieved 2012-07-10.
  2. ^ "Two Seam Fastball Video". The Ultimate Pitcher. Archived from the original on 2012-09-12.
  3. ^ Ellis, Steven. "Pitching Grips". TheCompletePitcher.com.
  4. ^ "Article" (PDF). Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-03-24.
Alex Wilson (baseball)

William Alexander Wilson (born November 3, 1986) is a Saudi Arabia–born American professional baseball pitcher in the Chicago Cubs organization. He previously played for the Boston Red Sox and the Detroit Tigers.

Ariel Peña

Ariel Peña Mora (born May 20, 1989) is a Dominican professional baseball pitcher who is a free agent. He throws a four-seam fastball, a two-seam fastball, a slider and a changeup. He has previously played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Milwaukee Brewers.

Baseball (ball)

A baseball is a ball used in the sport of the same name. The ball features a rubber or cork center, wrapped in yarn, and covered, in the words of the Official Baseball Rules "with two strips of white horsehide or cowhide, tightly stitched together." It is 9–9​1⁄4 inches (229–235 mm) in circumference (​2 55⁄64–​2 15⁄16 in. or 73–75 mm in diameter), with a mass of 5 to 5​1⁄4 oz. (142 to 149 g). The yarn or string used to wrap the baseball can be up to one mile (1.6 km) in length. Some are wrapped in a plastic-like covering.

A significant quality of the baseball is the stitching that holds together the covering of the ball. After a ball has been pitched, these raised stitches catch the air and cause the ball to swerve slightly on its way to the catcher. Whether the ball swerves to the right, to the left, downward, or a combination thereof, and whether it swerves sharply or gradually, depends on which direction, and how fast, the stitches have been made to spin by the pitcher. See, for example, curveball, slider, two-seam fastball, four-seam fastball, sinker, cutter.

Chan Ho Park

Chan Ho Park ((Korean: 박찬호; Hanja: 朴贊浩; Korean pronunciation: [pɐk̚.tɕʰɐn.ɦo]; born June 30, 1973) is a South Korean former professional baseball pitcher. He played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers, San Diego Padres, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees, and Pittsburgh Pirates of Major League Baseball (MLB), the Orix Buffaloes of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), and the Hanwha Eagles of the KBO League. Park was the first South Korea-born player in MLB history. He has the most career wins (124), of any Asia-born pitcher in history, having passed Hideo Nomo for that distinction, in 2010. During his playing days, Park stood 6 feet 2 inches (188 cm) tall, weighing 210 pounds (95 kg).

Circle changeup

In baseball, a circle changeup (also called the "okay changeup", related to the thumb and index finger touching) is a pitch thrown with a grip that includes a circle formation, hence the name circle changeup. The circle is formed by making a circle with the index finger, holding the thumb at the bottom of the ball parallel to the middle finger and holding the ball far out in the hand. The ball is thrown turning the palm out (pronating the forearm).

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.

Cut fastball

In baseball, a cut fastball or cutter is a type of fastball that breaks toward the pitcher's glove-hand side, as it reaches home plate. This pitch is somewhere between a slider and a two-seam fastball, as it is usually thrown faster than a slider but with more motion than a typical fastball. Some pitchers use a cutter to prevent hitters from expecting their regular fastballs. A common technique for throwing a cutter is to use a two-seam fastball grip with the baseball set slightly off center in the hand. A batter hitting a cutter pitch often achieves only soft contact and an easy out due to the pitch's movement keeping the ball away from the bat's sweet spot. The cutter is typically 2–5 mph slower than a pitcher's two-seam fastball. In 2010, the average pitch classified as a cutter by PITCHf/x thrown by a right-handed pitcher was 88.6 mph; the average two-seamer was 90.97 mph.

Dana Eveland

Dana James Eveland (born October 29, 1983) is an American former professional baseball pitcher. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Milwaukee Brewers, Arizona Diamondbacks, Oakland Athletics, Toronto Blue Jays, Pittsburgh Pirates, Los Angeles Dodgers, Baltimore Orioles, New York Mets, Atlanta Braves, and Tampa Bay Rays. Eveland has also played in the KBO League for the Hanwha Eagles.

Eveland throws a four-seam fastball, slider, changeup, and curveball. As of 2014, he began throwing more sliders and substituted his four-seam fastball with a two-seam fastball.

Doug Jones (baseball)

Douglas Reid Jones (born June 24, 1957) is a former Major League Baseball relief pitcher. During a 16-year career, he played for the Milwaukee Brewers (1982, 1996–1998), Cleveland Indians (1986–1991, 1998), Baltimore Orioles (1995), and Oakland Athletics (1999–2000), all of the American League, and the Houston Astros (1992–1993), Philadelphia Phillies (1994), and Chicago Cubs (1996) of the National League.

Jones was selected by the Brewers in the third round of the 1978 MLB draft, and spent seven years in their minor league system. His only major league experience was four games in 1982. He was released after the 1984 season, and he signed with the Indians. He became the Indians' full-time closer by 1988, breaking the Indians' record for saves in a season with 37. He held the Indians' all-time record for saves with 129 until Bob Wickman broke it on May 7, 2006.Jones threw an immaculate inning during a saves on September 23, 1997 by striking out Johnny Damon, Scott Cooper and Rod Myers of the Kansas City Royals.Jones announced his retirement on December 7, 2000. His 303 career save ranked 12th in major league history upon his retirement, and his 846 career appearances ranked 21st. A changeup specialist, he was known for keeping hitters off balance by throwing extremely slow pitches. He threw a two-seam fastball that topped out in the low-to-mid 80s and a knuckle curve on occasion.He was elected to the American League All-Star team three times (1988, 1989 and 1990) and to the National League All-Star team twice (1992 and 1994). He was the oldest player in the majors in 2000 at the age of 43.

On January 22, 2015, he was named pitching coach for the Boise Hawks, a minor league affiliate of the Colorado Rockies.

Fastball

The fastball is the most common type of pitch thrown by pitchers in baseball and softball. "Power pitchers," such as former American major leaguers Nolan Ryan and Roger Clemens, rely on speed to prevent the ball from being hit, and have thrown fastballs at speeds of 95–105 miles per hour (153–169 km/h) (officially) and up to 108.1 miles per hour (174.0 km/h) (unofficially). Pitchers who throw more slowly can put movement on the ball, or throw it on the outside of home plate where batters can't easily reach it.

The appearance of a faster pitch can sometimes be achieved by minimizing the batter's vision of the ball before its release. The result is known as an "exploding fastball": a pitch that seems to arrive at the plate quickly despite its low velocity.

Fastballs are usually thrown with backspin, so that the Magnus effect creates an upward force on the ball. This causes it to fall less rapidly than expected, and sometimes causes an optical illusion often called a rising fastball. Although it is impossible for a human to throw a baseball fast enough and with enough backspin for the ball to actually rise, to the batter the pitch seems to rise due to the unexpected lack of natural drop on the pitch.

A straight pitch is achieved by gripping the ball with the fingers across the wide part of the seam (called a "four-seam fastball") so that both the index and middle fingers are touching two seams perpendicularly. A sinking fastball is thrown by gripping it across the narrow part (a "two-seam fastball") so that both the index and middle fingers are along a seam. Lateral motion is achieved by holding a four-seam fastball off-center (a "cut fastball"), and sinking action with a lateral break is thrown by splitting the fingers along the seams (a "split-finger fastball").

Colloquially, a fastball pitcher 'throws heat' or 'puts steam on it', among many other variants.

Fastpitch softball

Fastpitch softball, also known as fastpitch or fastball, is a form of softball played commonly by women and men, though coed fast-pitch leagues also exist. The International Softball Federation (ISF) is the international governing body of softball. The ISF recognizes three pitching styles: fast pitch, "modified" fast pitch, and slow pitch. Fast pitch is considered the most competitive form of softball. It is the form of softball that was played at the Olympic Games in 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008. The fast pitch style is also used in college softball and international competition.

Pitchers throw the ball with an underhand motion at speeds up to 70 miles per hour (110 km/h) for women and up to 85 miles per hour (137 km/h) for men.The pitching style of fastpitch is different from that of slowpitch softball. Pitchers in fast-pitch softball usually throw the ball using a "windmill" type of movement. In this style of pitching, the pitcher begins with his arm at the hip. A common way to be taught how to pitch is using the motions, 'repel', 'rock', 'kick', 'drag', 'toss'. The pitcher then brings the ball in a circular motion over the head, completes the circle back down at the hip, and snaps the hand. A "modified" fast pitch is identical to a "windmill" pitch except the arm is not brought over the head in a full windmill motion, but instead is brought behind the body and is then thrust directly forward for the release. Another type of pitching movement is the "figure 8". With this style, the ball is not brought over the head at all but down and behind the body and back in one smooth motion tracing out a figure eight. There are many different pitches which can be thrown, including a two-seam fastball, four-seam fastball, changeup, two different riseballs, two dropballs, curveball, offspeed, screwball, knuckleball and more. These pitches can be taught in many different styles, depending on the pitching coach's method and the player's abilities.

Catching is also a very important part of fast pitch softball. Without a fast-paced catcher, the pitcher will not succeed. The catcher needs to be able to recognize the batters, their hitting style, and the right pitches to call. If there is a bad pitch that hits the ground, the catcher needs to block it so runs do not score, and runners do not advance on the bases. And when a pitch is close to the strike-zone, catchers "frame" by pulling the ball towards the center of the plate to convince the umpires to call the pitch a strike. Catchers are protected by a chest guard, helmet, mouth guard, leg protectors, and a specialized mitt. This is due to the proximity of the batters to the catcher; it is a dangerous position so one must always be alert. Catchers are responsible for throwing runners out when they try to steal bases, meaning that a catcher must have a strong arm and a quick throw. The catcher is the brains of the team, and carries it as a whole.

The game of fastpitch softball is similar to baseball, and includes stealing bases and bunting. Unlike baseball, however, there is no "leading off" - the baserunner can only leave the base when the pitcher releases the ball. Most leagues use the "dropped third strike" rule, which allows the batter to attempt an advance to first base when the catcher fails to catch the third strike.

Four-seam fastball

A four-seam fastball, also called a rising fastball, a four-seamer, or a cross-seam fastball, is a pitch in baseball. It is a member of the fastball family of pitches and is usually the hardest (i.e., fastest) ball thrown by a pitcher. The name of the pitch derives from the fact that with every rotation of the ball as it is thrown, four seams come into view. A few pitchers at the major league level can sometimes reach a pitch speed of up to 100 mph. It is often compared with the two-seam fastball.

Freddy García

Freddy Antonio García (born October 6, 1976), is a Venezuelan professional baseball pitcher for the Tigres de Aragua of the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League. He is best known for his many seasons with seven Major League Baseball (MLB) franchises, including the Seattle Mariners, Chicago White Sox, and New York Yankees. However, Garcia has also pitched professionally in the Taiwanese, Mexican, and Venezuelan baseball leagues.

García threw a fastball that topped out in the 90s in his prime and a hard slider. He also threw a two-seam fastball, a curveball, a split-finger fastball and occasionally used a changeup. García's best year was in 2001 in which he led the American League in innings pitched and ERA. He made the All-Star team in 2001 and 2002. In 2005, he was a member of the World Series winning Chicago White Sox and started the series-winning Game 4.

Jered Weaver

Jered David Weaver (born October 4, 1982) is an American former professional baseball starting pitcher. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Los Angeles Angels and San Diego Padres. Weaver was drafted in the first round (12th overall) in the 2004 Major League Baseball draft by the Angels out of Long Beach State. He was a three-time All Star, and twice led the American League in wins. He is the younger brother of former pitcher Jeff Weaver.

Jorge Julio

Jorge Dandys Julio Tapia (born March 3, 1979) is a former Major League Baseball relief pitcher. He previously played for the Baltimore Orioles from 2001 to 2005, New York Mets and Arizona Diamondbacks in 2006, and the Florida Marlins in 2007 before being traded to the Rockies for Byung-hyun Kim. He had brief stints with the Cleveland Indians and Atlanta Braves in 2008, and also with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2009. He bats and throws right-handed.Julio, who throws extremely hard, features both a four-seam and a two-seam fastball in the 95–100 MPH range and has thrown even harder on occasion. He also has a downward-breaking slider, which comes in at between 86 and 90 MPH, and occasionally throws a changeup as well.

Shuuto

The shuuto (シュート) or shootball is a baseball pitch. It is commonly thrown by right-handed Japanese pitchers such as Hiroki Kuroda, Noboru Akiyama, Kenjiro Kawasaki, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Yu Darvish and Masumi Kuwata. The most renowned shuuto pitcher in history was Masaji Hiramatsu, whose famous pitch was dubbed the razor shuuto because it seemed to "cut the air" when thrown.

The pitch is mainly designed to break down and in on right-handed batters, to prevent them from making solid contact with the ball. It can be thrown to left-handers to keep them off balance. Good shuuto pitches often break the bats of right-handed hitters because they get jammed when trying to swing at this pitch. It could be said that the shuuto has a somewhat similar break and purpose as the screwball. If the shuuto was thrown off the outside part of the plate, it would tail back over the outside border of the strike zone. Conversely, if it was thrown on the inside part of the plate, it would move even further inside.

The shuuto is often described in English as a reverse slider, but this is not strictly the case. The shuuto generally has more velocity and less break than a slider. The two-seam fastball, the sinker, and the screwball, in differing degrees, move down and in towards a right-handed batter when thrown, or in the opposite manner of a curveball and a slider.

The shuuto is often confused with the gyroball, perhaps because of an article by Will Carroll that erroneously equated the two pitches. Although Carroll later corrected himself, the confusion persists.

According to baseball analyst Mike Fast, the shuuto "can describe any pitch that tails to the pitcher's arm side, including the two-seam fastball, the circle change-up, the screwball, and the split-finger fastball".

Sinker (baseball)

In baseball, a sinker or sinking fastball is a type of fastball pitch which has significant downward and horizontal movement and is known for inducing ground balls. Pitchers who use the sinker tend to rely on it heavily and do not need to change pitch speeds as much as other pitchers do because the sinking action induces weak bat contact. Other pitchers normally change pitch speeds to achieve this effect. The sinker is much more often used by right-handed than left-handed pitchers.

Willis Hudlin

George Willis Hudlin (May 23, 1906 – August 5, 2002) was born in Wagoner, Oklahoma, and was a Major League Baseball pitcher for, most notably, the Cleveland Indians from 1926 to 1940. Hudlin didn't pitch more than 10 games with any other team, although he played with 3 others.

In 1940, Hudlin became one of the few players to compete on 4 different major league teams in the same year (Cleveland Indians, Washington Senators, St. Louis Browns, and the New York Giants). His career statistics include a 158–156 record, with a 4.41 ERA. He had 677 strikeouts in 2613 career innings pitched. Hudlin was the pitcher who gave up Babe Ruth's 500th home run.

Hudlin was a very good hitting pitcher in his career, recording a .201 batting average (180-for-894) with 76 runs, 5 home runs and 69 RBI.

His pitch selection included a well-known sinker, a fastball, curveball and a changeup. He occasionally threw sidearm or with an underhand "dip of the wrist", though he threw overhand most often. After Hudlin finished playing in the majors, he was a manager for the minor league Little Rock Travelers and pitching coach for the Detroit Tigers under skippers Jack Tighe, Bill Norman and Jimmy Dykes (1957–59).

He later became a scout for the New York Yankees where he scouted his own son James Hudlin who was given a contract to play professionally, but was drafted to fight in the Vietnam War. James Hudlin's pitch selection was a knuckleball, slider, curveball, and sinker, as well as a two-seam fastball that topped out at 102 mph.

Willis died in Little Rock, Arkansas at the age of 96.

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