Baseball Positions & Roles : How to be a Pitcher

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The pitcher's primary responsibility is to get the batter out. That can come in the form

The pitcher's primary responsibility is to get the batter out. That can come in the form

of a strike out, a ground out, a pop out, any number of different ways of getting the

batter out. But primarily, your responsibility is to record outs. Now you'd think that the

pitcher would always want to get a strike out; that's not exactly true. Sometimes it's

more advantageous for the pitcher to allow the batter to hit the ball to a certain position,

again, going with the coach's strategy to turn a double play, sometimes a triple play.

So sometimes you don't want a strike out. A strike out, by the way, is determined when

a batter records three strikes on a batter, that batter will be out...swings three times

and misses the ball or three pitches are thrown within the strike zone that the he fails to

hit or any combination of those things. The pitcher will normally set up just like this:

if there's no runner on, you'll start in a wind up. Again, you're on the rubber. You'll

take your wind up, and you'll make your throw to home plate, ok. That's primary spot number

1. The pitcher may take a different position if there's a runner on first base. He may

be throwing from what's called 'the stretch.' This is where you turn sideways, facing home

plate just like this...you can set up on the outside or the inside of the rubber, it doesn't

exactly matter. But you have to watch the runner on first base, over your shoulder just

like this. In this situation, the pitcher has two choices: he can either throw the ball

home for a pitch or you can make a throw to first base and try to throw the runner out

if he's taking to large of a lead. Sometimes your catcher will indicate, sometimes you

just have to see it. Now, if you're going to make the throw to first base you have to

first step off the rubber. You cannot have your foot in front of the rubber and make

a throw to first base or to third base. You have to actually have to step off, turn, and

throw. Now this is a skill the pitchers develop and you get very, very quick at it. So if

you're standing here and you're waiting, you're watching the runner over your shoulder on

first base. You're seeing your signs from your catcher, and it's time you're going to

try to pick this guy off. It's just a hop back, turn, throw...your first baseman will

catch the ball, try to tag the runner as he comes back into the bag. Sometimes you pick

him off, sometimes you don't. That covers the basic responsibilites of the pitcher.

Vocabulary

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