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  #1  
Old 03-10-2008, 09:38 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, 09:48 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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Old 03-10-2008, 09:53 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, 10:00 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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Old 03-11-2008, 12:37 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, 01:00 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, 02:03 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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  #8  
Old 03-11-2008, 02:05 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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  #9  
Old 03-11-2008, 02:16 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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