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Pitcher Effective pitching is critical to a baseball team, as pitching is the key for the defensive team to retire batters and to prevent runners from getting on base. A full game usually involves over one hundred pitches thrown by each team.
However, most pitchers begin to tire before they reach this point. In previous eras, pitchers would often throw up to four complete games all nine innings in a week. With new advances in medical research and thus a better understanding of how the human body functions and tires out, starting pitchers tend more often to throw fractions of a game typically six or seven innings, depending on their performance about every five days though a few complete games do still occur each year.
Multiple pitchers are often needed in a single game, including the starting pitcher and relief pitcher s. Pitchers are substituted for one another like any other player see aboveand the rules do not limit the number of pitchers that can be used in a game; the only limiting factor is the size of the squad, naturally.
In general, starting pitchers are not used in relief situations except sometimes during the post-season when every game is vital.
If a game runs into many extra innings, a team may well empty its bullpen. If it then becomes necessary to use a "position player" as a pitcher, major league teams generally have certain players designated as emergency relief pitchers, to avoid the embarrassment of using a less skillful player.
In baseball's early years, squads were smaller, and relief pitchers were relatively uncommon, with the starter normally remaining for the entire game unless he was either thoroughly ineffective or became injured; today, with a much greater emphasis on pitch count, over the course of a single game each team will frequently use from two to five pitchers.
In the ALCSall four of the Chicago White Sox victories were complete games by the starters, a highly noteworthy event in the modern game. While delivering the ball, the pitcher has a great arsenal at his disposal in the variation of location, velocity, movement, and arm location see types of pitches.
Most pitchers attempt to master two or three types of pitches; some pitchers throw up to 6 types of pitches with varying degrees of control. Since the batter's timing is critical to hitting a pitch, a batter swinging to hit what looks like a fastball, would be terribly fooled swing and miss, hopefully when the pitch turns out to be a much slower change-up.
Some pitchers choose to throw using the ' submarine style ,' a very efficient sidearm or near-underhand motion. Pitchers with a submarine delivery are often very difficult to hit because of the angle and movement of the ball once released.
Walter Johnsonwho threw one of the fastest fastballs in the history of the game, threw sidearm though not submarine rather than a normal overhand.
True underhanded pitching is permitted in Major League Baseball. However, it is difficult to generate enough velocity and movement with the underhand motion. Among modern Major League pitchers, Chad Bradford had the closest to an underhand delivery, with his knuckles sometimes scraping the ground.
However, he is still usually considered a "submarine" pitcher. Fielding strategy[ edit ] World Seriesinfielders playing "in" for the expected bunt and the possible play at the plate with the bases loadedthe same strategy years ago as now.
Only the pitcher's and catcher's locations are fixed, and then only at the beginning of each pitch. Thus, the players on the field move around as needed to defend against scoring a run. Many variations of this are possible, as location depends upon the situation.
Circumstances such as the number of outs, the count balls and strikes on the batter, the number and speed of runners, the ability of the fielders, the ability of the pitcher, the type of pitch thrown, the tendencies of the hitter, and the inning cause the fielders to move to more strategic locations on the field.
Common defensive strategies include: Batting team[ edit ] Batters and runners[ edit ] The ultimate goal of the team at bat is to score runs.
To accomplish this task, the team at bat successively in a predetermined order called a lineup or batting order sends its nine players to the batter's box adjacent to home plate where they become batters. Each team sets its batting lineup at the beginning of the game.
Changes to the lineup are tightly limited by the rules of baseball and must be communicated to the umpires, who have the substitutions announced for the opposing team and fans.
A batter's turn at the plate is called a plate appearance. Batters can advance to first base safely in one of seven methods: When the batter hits a fair ball, he must run to first base, and may continue or stop at any base unless he is put out.
A successful hit occurs when the batter reaches a base: Once a runner is held to a base, he may attempt to advance at any time, but is not required to do so unless the batter or another runner displaces him called a force play.
A batter always drops his bat when running the bases; otherwise, the bat would slow him down and could give rise to a call of interference if it were to contact the ball or a fielder.
However, if a batter hits the ball, and the batter or the dropped bat touches the ball, it is considered a dead ball.
Depending on the way the ball comes off the bat, the play has different names. A batted ball is called a fly ball if it is hit in the air in an upward arc, such that a fielder might be able to catch it before it hits the ground. A batted ball is called a ground ball if it hits the ground within the infield before it can be caught, often due to being hit in a downward trajectory.
Several different names are used to describe fly balls, depending on their trajectory. A ball hit high in the air and seemingly almost straight up is called a "pop-up".
A ball hit forcefully in a fast-moving and seemingly almost straight-line trajectory is called a line drive. · Strong prose is a matter of practice and discipline and conscious awareness of the words you put on the page.
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