Category: baseball

The calendar may say February but the training says spring. WAKE UP!

For more good study, visit http://escondidograpevine.com.

It happens every spring. As the MLB.com screen says: “Welcome Back!”

Baseball sprang into full fast-forward on Monday, Feb. — FEB? — 28 as teams played from here to there and back. Or at least at Casa Fan-tastic, the fan cave with all TV’s and computers blasting like it’s hot, as in July.

Washington 9 New York 3 in the top of the 9th Inning and Mike Morse is shining bright. coming off a power-laden, if platooning year, the man behind the code blasted  Igarashi late of Yakult, now of the new Bowery Bums.

We say Bowery Bums since Mets ownership got Madoffed and reportedly took a last-gasp $25 million MLB loan that outraged former commissioner Fay Vincent this weekend.

And let us not forget the beloved Bums, as in the Duke, Brooklyn legend and Fallbrook, Calif. resident, who passed this weekend. Mr. Snider, we presume, is shagging flies today somewhere around Field of Dreams, Dyersville, Iowa. Condolences and memories collide.

Now, the new breed, baseball’s always promising future comes into play. Enter Bryce Harper who looks good. Looks great, less filling, a good-looking guy destined for destiny and Double-A. Hey, it’s spring, can you say majors in September.

Speaking of being a little rusty, hello Dioner Navarro. Little leaguers, YO, don’t try what he did at home…plate.

An artful Dodger, Navarro got away with it once, though, going all Pudge behind the dish, throwing from his knees and nailing the fleet attempted thiefster Juan Pierre — I always rinse, repeat, rinse that name in giant letters — JUAN PIERRE JUAN PIERRE, just ’cause it sounds cool. Out at second base and with EXTREME prejudice the first stolen base try of the spring.

But Dioner, bless his spring heart, got greedy. Attempting the same feat as Pierre tried to steal third base later in the game, Navarro squat, cocked, and threw the ball far north of the infield, wide and to the left fielder. Can you say…Embarrassing.

Thanks goodness for spring training though, for fans as well as playas. Breaking open our many MLB interfaces for the first time in 2011, sticking our faces into the ever-emerging baseball portal; games are on TV, games are on the computer, games, games, games everywhere and not a moment to re-consider.

Keith Hernandez is to the left computer screen. speaking wisely of Carlos Beltran’s move from the center square. Tommy Lasorda is to the right TV, reminding us the Duke never showboat dove for a ball. That’s right. It’s back, back, back, baby. Hallelujah!

I’m rusty, yes, but willing. MLB.Com has Mets-Nationals, obviously. MLB Channel has Dodgers-White Sox, obviously, and the radio feeds buzz with a dozen, or so, preliminary skirmished contests.

It will take a few days to get back up to speed for me, and you, but we’ll be going good as gold gloves by next week, plenty of time to be there and be squarely in the baseball mood.

And with that said, film at whenever,  I’ll be back online in a few…

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So, you want to throw a fastball — 2- and 4-seam grips

For more good stuff, visit http://escondidograpevine.com.

So, you want to throw a fastball. There are two kinds of grips: Two seam and four seam. First you have to get a grip on the ball. Put the fingers on top of the seams with the thumb underneath. Don’t choke the ball. Put it out between the two pads on the fingertips.

The two seam grip starts with outing the two fingers on the seams. This grip makes the ball move somewhat. Infielder use the four seam grip to get better. they wrap the finger around the seams. People refer to the two seam pitch as a straight fastball. the pitch goes fast but has some movement. The most common grip keeps the fingers close together along the seam. The thumb touches the ball slightly. The more pressure applied with the index finger, the more movement on the ball.

Two seam fastballs aren;t quite as quick to the plat as four seam fastballs. Analysts believe they’re several miles per hour slower. However, the movement factor makes the pitch just as effective. The more the pitcher spins the two seam grip as he throws, the more the ball moves. Breaks on the ball vary greatly depending on the pitcher’s arm strength and finger position. It’s a natural grip that is taught to players at an early age and remains usable throughout their careers.

Leading Major League Baseball pitchers past, and present, known for using the two seam grip include:

  • Greg Maddux
  • Jake Peavy
  • Yu Darvish
  • Dave Price
  • Max Scherzer
  • Felix Hernandez
  • Jamie Moyer

Four seam fastballs are a bit tougher to throw and are sometimes know as a rising fastball. They also bring the high heat with the rising ball coming in at the fastest possible speeds. This is the one pitchers hump on in the majors for 100 miles per hour. It’s designed for speed, not comfort.

Challenging a batter at the purest reflex level, pitchers grip the four seam ball with index and middle finger across the seams, perpendicular to the digits. Grip the ball on top of the seam horseshoe pattern with the seams facing away from the body. Put your thumb underneath the ball the same as in the two seam grip. The back of the thumb should be lightly touching the underneath seam.

The four seam ball is released with a straight-ahead motion. It can be thrown from any arm angle. As the ball slides off your grip;s middle fingers, it spins a little. The spin causes the ball to move as it rises in the strike zone. It’s designed to go straight through the strike zone. A lot of pitchers grow up throwing with this grip because the four seam fastball is the most reliable pitch in baseball and most natural for the wrist and arm.

Some of the best four seam baseball pitchers in 2013 included:

  • Lance Lynn
  • Bartolo Colon
  • Anibal Sanchez
  • Zack Greinke
  • Madison Baumgarner
  • Matt Harvey
  • Clayton Kershaw

The key to throwing a great four seam baseball is the grip. Hold it like an egg in your grasp. Maintaining a gap between your hand and the ball is important. Keeping a loose grip on things keeps friction off the hand to a minimum. The ball goes faster with less friction.

Back to the two seam grip, it needs to create more friction to maintain greater ball movement. That calls for a tighter grip. This makes the horsehide run in and back up aligned with the throwing hand motion at speeds of one to three miles per hour slower than the four seam grip.

If you’re a right-handed pitcher, throw the two seam ball to the right of the plate and the four seam fastball to the left glove side. This makes the break tail away from hitters. Left-handed pitchers grip and throw the ball to the left for the two seamer and right for the four seamer.

When it coms to throwing a fastball, the grip boils down to comfort level, hand size and personal preference. Some pitchers mix and match grips depending on situations. It all boils down to which grip fits you best. The four seam fastball will overpower hitters. The two seam fastball will get there almost as fast with a sink and a twist.