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What does this term mean? I keep hearing it this season...

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Re: What does this term mean? I keep hearing it this season...

Postby Yoda » Mon Apr 21, 2008 7:37 pm

Contact pitching basically means throwing more in the strike zone. There are lot of pitchers who walk less but give up a fair amount of hits and HRs. Pitchers with good stuff with good command can strike out hitters but if they don't you end up with a guy like Carlos Silva.
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Re: What does this term mean? I keep hearing it this season...

Postby GotowarMissAgnes » Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:17 pm

Wharton93 wrote:http://38pitches.com/2007/03/28/32807-vs-the-twins-and-mlbtv-package-contest/

think Schilling in 2007
"One of the amazing transitions that just kind of happened this spring is being able to ‘pitch to contact’. I’ve always said I do, and sometimes I’ve tried but never to the extent I have this spring"


I'm thinking...but mostly I'm thinking about a pitcher who was getting old and injured, not one who suddenly became a different pitcher.
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Re: What does this term mean? I keep hearing it this season...

Postby GotowarMissAgnes » Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:23 pm

bobbing_headz wrote:
DaShiz23 wrote:My take on this term is like a sinker baller, or a pitcher who throws 'pitcher pitch' strikes early in the count. A sinker baller wants you to smash the ball into the ground, instead of having you swing and miss. Instead of velocity, the pitcher uses late movement to dictate the type of contact a hitter makes. The pitcher also attacks batters who are known to swing early in the count, with pitches the batter can't do much with. For example, an offspead pitch on the outside of the plate to a dead-pull hitter. I don't believe it has much to do with strikeouts, as it has more to do with putting hitters in situations where they must swing at and put balls into play on their "own terms". They aren't trying to fool hitters into swings and misses, but into bad swings at good pitches, inducing ground outs or weak pop-ups. These pitchers must display great command with pitches that many can't locate on a regular basis.
A strikeout pitcher may display a great high fastball as a strikeout pitch, or even a nasty slider that falls off the table, but they also have a tendency to 'hang' these pitches, resulting in solid contact. Whereas, a pitcher who pitches 'to contact', can consistently locate 'their' pitches in the favorable location, thus controlling the effect of the batters' swing.


This is exactly what I think of. Pitchers like Wang, Buehrle or Penny are good examples.


In what way is "pitch to contact" any different then the GB/FB distinction? We know that there are pitchers who tend to be FB/K pitchers and pitchers who tend to be GB pitchers. The latter tend to give up more hits, but mostly singles, while the former tend to give up more dingers. But, I would argue that the real difference is not "pitching to contact". These pitcher's are not TRYING to have batters make contact. It's not an approach, it's a skill....a skill that focuses on mastering command of pitchers with downward movement that leads to GBs when hit. And, it's not like you can simply take a FB/K pitcher and have him change his approach and suddenly become a GB pitcher. It requires that pitcher to develop a completely different skill.
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Re: What does this term mean? I keep hearing it this season...

Postby redstorm41 » Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:49 pm

I've always thought the term sounded pretty basic. What you are doing is plain and simple, keep the pitches within the strike zone, locate the pitch in a spot that will allow the batter to make the worst possible contact while allowing the defense behind you to make a play, and throw as few pitches as possible (instead of averaging 16-17 pitches an inning, you throw around 12-13 pitches an inning). The key is knowing how to hit your spots and doing it on a consistent basis. So, a lot of is muscle memory believe it or not. If you know you exert enough of force on the pitch, get the the proper grip on the ball, you know that it'll be a strike each time. And when you know it's a strike, it keeps the hitter in mind that it's going to be a strike each and every time out. This is where you have to create those "pitchers strikes." It is when you can be able to get the pitch in for a strike, but when the hitter makes contact, they're only able to make poor contact. That is what pitchers like Maddux, Silva, Bannister, and Wang want to achieve, get enough of those "pitchers strikes" so that it tilts into the pitcher's favor instead of the batters. Force him to hit a pitch that he doesn't want to because the situation dictates it.
Last edited by redstorm41 on Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What does this term mean? I keep hearing it this season...

Postby GotowarMissAgnes » Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:03 pm

Except that nobody averages 10-11 pitchers per IP. Maddux was the lowest at 13.7. Only 13 pitchers were below 15 pitches per IP. Bannister averaged 15.8 pitches per IP. He really doesn't belong in the discussion, if that's the criteria.

Again, I do not see anything wrong with this viewed as a skill, although I would call it something different than "pitching to contact". Where I differ is from those who think that this is an "approach", something that a pitcher can just change.
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