MLB The Show 23: Best Pitches and When to Throw Them
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On this page, we're going to discuss the
best pitches and when to throw them. It should be noted that while the information on this page can be used as a guideline, it shouldn't be considered a definitive solution. The type of pitches you select and the strategy behind them will depend on an enormous number of factors, such as the batter you're facing, the pitcher you're using, and the scenario you find yourself in. Nevertheless, these tips can give you a better idea of what you should be doing and when.
When to Throw
Fastballs are, as the name implies, the fastest pitch in a pitcher's arsenal. They're also generally the most accurate. Typically a pitcher will use the pitch when down in the count due to its inherent accuracy. The goal is to rifle the ball past the batter with sheer velocity, while still locating the strike zone.
Fastballs can target any part of the strike zone, although pitchers should avoid the middle. Generally you'll want to target the upper-part of the strike zone, as it's hard to get the bat up and around pitches in this area.
While there are examples of fastballs with movement, breaking balls are generally a lot slower and move a lot more. This provides problems for batters as they're unable to successfully time up their swings. Mixing fastballs with breaking balls can present real problems for batters, as they may be uncertain of the type of pitch they're about to receive. In a lot of cases, you'll use breaking balls to get strikes, tempting a batter to swing at a pitch but using movement to direct the ball away from the barrel of the bat. They can be particularly effective in double play scenarios, as the movement can lead to weak contact and, specifically, ground balls.
Breaking balls can target any part of the strike zone, although it's generally more difficult to be precise with pitches of this type, so you may want to reserve them for when you're ahead in the count.
Off-speed pitches, specifically changeups, are designed to look similar or identical to fastballs, but will move at a slower pace. This causes batters to mistime their swing, resulting in low or inconsequential contact. As a result of this, off-speed pitches can be effective when used directly after or before a fastball. You may also choose to use an off-speed pitch when behind in the count, as the batter will be expecting a fastball.
Off-speed pitches can target any part of the strike zone, although when trying to trick hitters into thinking you're using a fastball, you may want to try and locate that upper-part of the strike zone to help sell the illusion.
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