Thursday, January 6, 2011

Fighting With Two Strikes

If you have watched enough baseball, you have probably seen a batter with two strikes foul off several pitches. He makes the pitcher throw pitch after pitch until he gets a pitch he can handle, resulting in a base hit.

He fought with two strikes.

In another tip, I discuss overcoming the fear of batting with two strikes. In this scenario, the batter has a lot of confidence.

Just because you have two strikes does not mean that on the next pitch you judge to be a strike, there are only two options – swing and put the ball in play or swing and miss. The latter is an out and the former will more than likely lead to an out if you are not swinging with a purpose.

There is a third, and often overlooked, option – foul the pitch off and live to see another pitch. There is no rule about only getting a certain number of foul balls in baseball, and there is nothing that says you cannot purposely foul off a pitch.

Fouling off pitches has two benefits. The first is you make the pitcher throw more pitches. The more pitches he throws, the more likely he is to make a mistake and give you a pitch you can hit hard. The second is that the pitcher will throw you all of his pitches in his repertoire and the next time you face him, there will not be any surprises.

This is not an easy concept, but like every other part of baseball, it is something that can be practiced. Once you understand the thinking behind it, the next time you are in the batter’s box, you can increase your chances of success by fouling off two strike pitches until you are thrown a pitch you can handle.

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