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  #1  
Old 03-10-2008, 10:38 PM
Cubsfan Cubsfan is offline
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4 seam vs 2 seam fastball. What's the difference?

I've been trying to figure this out for a while now. What is the fundamental difference between a 2 and 4 seam fastball? Is it how they break? Or is it just the grip used when throwing? When would you choose one over the other?

Also, what's a 12-6 curveball? Is it a curveball that also drops en route to the plate?
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  #2  
Old 03-10-2008, 10:48 PM
lobotomyboy63 lobotomyboy63 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cubsfan
I've been trying to figure this out for a while now. What is the fundamental difference between a 2 and 4 seam fastball? Is it how they break? Or is it just the grip used when throwing? When would you choose one over the other?

Also, what's a 12-6 curveball? Is it a curveball that also drops en route to the plate?
My coach, who tried out for the Cubs as a pitcher, told me to throw two seams for a tailing fastball, having the same direction as a screwball but not as dramatic. If your arm is coming down across your body, as you release the ball, it spins off your fingers, like English reverse or the old Trac Ball game.

The four seam is for throwing straight, but even pitchers who can throw flame want movement on the ball, so four seams is for fielders.

I've never heard of the 12-6.
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  #3  
Old 03-10-2008, 10:53 PM
Least Original User Name Ever Least Original User Name Ever is offline
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12-6 refers to location on a clock. It drops from 12 (theoretically) to 6.

2 seam fastball has a little tail on it, but that's been covered already.
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  #4  
Old 03-10-2008, 11:00 PM
lobotomyboy63 lobotomyboy63 is offline
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Hubbell's primary pitch was always the screwball, a particularly difficult ball to throw, and one that places an unusual amount of stress on a pitcher's arm. However, he threw it so frequently and for so many years that his left arm became permanently twisted, leaving his left palm facing outward at arm's rest.

From Wikipedia, emphasis mine. I'd stick with the tailing fastball.
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  #5  
Old 03-11-2008, 01:37 PM
Cheesesteak Cheesesteak is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cubsfan
What is the fundamental difference between a 2 and 4 seam fastball? Is it how they break? Or is it just the grip used when throwing?
The number is based on which axis the ball is rotating around. Spinning one way, you'll see 4 (more or less straight) seams going from the bottom to the top of the ball for each rotation. Spinning another way, you'll see 2 curved seams going from bottom to top for each rotation. The direction of spin is determined by how you hold and release the ball, not how it acts once thrown.

4 seam fastballs are, I'd say, the basic fastball, the one pitchers throw the fastest, and have the best control over. Contrary to lobotomyboy's opinion, many MLB pitchers use a 4 seam fastball, to good effect. 2 seam fastballs are livelier, tend to sink more, but are a bit slower and harder to control.
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  #6  
Old 03-11-2008, 02:00 PM
Asimovian Asimovian is offline
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Since we're discussing the different pitches, I've always been curious about the palmball. I see it all the time in various baseball video games, but I don't recall ever hearing an announcer in a real game talk about a pitcher using this particular weapon. Is there another name for it? What is the motion of it?
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Old 03-11-2008, 03:03 PM
Least Original User Name Ever Least Original User Name Ever is offline
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Thepalmball is what I thought it was: a changeup.
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Old 03-11-2008, 03:05 PM
RickJay RickJay is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asimovian
Since we're discussing the different pitches, I've always been curious about the palmball. I see it all the time in various baseball video games, but I don't recall ever hearing an announcer in a real game talk about a pitcher using this particular weapon. Is there another name for it? What is the motion of it?
The palmball is a method for throwing a changeup. At the major league level the problem pitchers face is that if they throw a changeup (a straight pitch that's just a lot slower than a fastball, meant to deceive the hitter's timing) by simply throwing slower, the hitter will perceive the drop in motion and arm speed. The pitcher has to throw the ballslower but make it look like he's throwing it as hard as he usually does.

Different pitchers use different methods for holding the ball in such a way that they can use hand motion to slow it down at the point of release; Roy Halladay throws a palmball as his changeup. The other common method is the circle change; I believe Pedro Martinez uses this method.

I've also heard of pitchers using the forkball as a changeup method, although forkballs can also have a significant downward break as an added bonus.
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Old 03-11-2008, 03:16 PM
Least Original User Name Ever Least Original User Name Ever is offline
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Pedro has something like 4 different changeups that he can throw from each of his arm angles. Of course, that may just be a Paul Bunyan story.
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  #10  
Old 09-30-2016, 03:30 PM
Damuri Ajashi Damuri Ajashi is online now
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Riiiise, riiiise. bwahahahaha.

I was going to throw this in the pit but I did a search and saw this thread. A pet peeve of mine is when little league coaches don't know the difference between a 4 seam pitch and a 2 seam pitch.

A fielder should almost always throws a 4 seam pitch because the ball goes straight and you want your intended target to catch the ball. The difference is especially important when you are using a pitching machine. When you throw a 4 seam pitch from the pitching machine the ball consistently goes to the same spot over the plate. When you set it up for a 2 seam pitch it drifts laterally as well as drops. So your little leaguer will frequently end up swinging high and to make up for the drop, you have to set it up for more velocity (reducing reaction time) or you are setting up an arc in the pitch (which can create bad hitting habits).

The excuse I hear from these coaches time and time again is that it is easier to line up the ball on a two seam pitch because they use the head of the mlb emblem on the ball as a marker.

So the last time I played machine pitch I got there early and set up the machine for 4 seam pitching. The other team gets there and adjusts it for two seam. When its my turn to bat, I set it up for 4 seam. The fricking guide recommends 4 seam and somehow I'm the asshole for constantly readjusting it to 2 seam because the majority of coaches are doing it wrong and don't seem to understand that there is a difference between 2 seam and 4 seam pitches.

Last edited by Damuri Ajashi; 09-30-2016 at 03:31 PM..
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  #11  
Old 09-30-2016, 03:57 PM
Ike Witt Ike Witt is offline
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Originally Posted by Cubsfan View Post
Also, what's a 12-6 curveball? Is it a curveball that also drops en route to the plate?
Wouldn't that just be a sinker?
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  #12  
Old 09-30-2016, 04:00 PM
running coach running coach is offline
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Originally Posted by Ike Witt View Post
Wouldn't that just be a sinker?
A good 12-6 goes nose-to-toes. A sinker is not nearly as dramatic.
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  #13  
Old 09-30-2016, 04:01 PM
RickJay RickJay is offline
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A curveball is a slower pitch with a very substantial vertical break. A sinker is a fast pitch with a small amount of break. Curveballs in the true sense are thrown by gripping and releasing the ball in a fashion as to make it rotate in the opposite direction of a fastball; sinkers are thrown through a variety of methods, but most similar to a slider or two-seamer.
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  #14  
Old 09-30-2016, 07:17 PM
Casey1505 Casey1505 is offline
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Originally Posted by running coach View Post
A good 12-6 goes nose-to-toes. A sinker is not nearly as dramatic.
Good Ol' Uncle Charlie.
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  #15  
Old 09-30-2016, 10:13 PM
OldGuy OldGuy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damuri Ajashi View Post
A fielder should almost always throws a 4 seam pitch because the ball goes straight and you want your intended target to catch the ball.
Do fielders actually take the time to feel how they're holding the ball, or do they just field it grab it out of their glove and throw to first (or whichever base). Certainly when I learned baseball oh so many years ago, no one told me to see how I grabbed the ball out of my glove.
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  #16  
Old 10-04-2016, 12:49 PM
Damuri Ajashi Damuri Ajashi is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldGuy View Post
Do fielders actually take the time to feel how they're holding the ball, or do they just field it grab it out of their glove and throw to first (or whichever base). Certainly when I learned baseball oh so many years ago, no one told me to see how I grabbed the ball out of my glove.
You can do it by feel. You never need to rotate the ball more than a quarter turn, it takes next to no time.

https://probaseballinsider.com/baseb...e-4-seam-grip/
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  #17  
Old 10-04-2016, 02:52 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lobotomyboy63 View Post
Hubbell's primary pitch was always the screwball, a particularly difficult ball to throw, and one that places an unusual amount of stress on a pitcher's arm. However, he threw it so frequently and for so many years that his left arm became permanently twisted, leaving his left palm facing outward at arm's rest.

From Wikipedia, emphasis mine. I'd stick with the tailing fastball.
That view has been challenged (note that the motion of a screwball is exactly the same motion an NFL quarterback makes with his arm). An analysis of the motion in the article. indicates that the screwball is easier on the arm than a fastball.

Here's Tug McGraw, a left-handed screwball pitcher, in 2003, long after he retired. His left arm looks just fine.

Here's Carl Hubbell in 1984 (also a lefthander). I can't see anything wrong with his arm.
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