Baseball pitcher vs. cricket bowler: mechanics

Why are the mechanics of baseball pitchers so different than cricket bowlers? It seems that they are looking for pretty much the same result. Is it constrained by the rules of the game? For example, the baseball pitcher has to keep a foot on the rubber.

To be honest, the only similarities are the size, weight and hardness of the ball. Other than that they are very, very different.

A bowler must deliver the ball with a straight arm, they can’t “throw” at all, a lot of the speed is contained in the athleticism of the fast-bowlers run-up. So a very different set of muscles are used.
Also, the speed range of bowlers is 40-100 mph and at the various ends of the range you see bowling styles that are almost a different sport. Then you have the degradation of the ball (which can be used for a full day without being changed) and the same holds true for the condition of the pitch which will change character over the course of 5 days.

All of these variables are in addition to the standard finger positions, spin and movement through the air that are common to both sports, but the movement imparted through pitch contact and ball degradation are specific to cricket.

So fluid dynamics aside, there is little in common.

Always been curious about this mysef. Guess there’s never been a cricket bowler who tried to cross over as a baseball pitcher then if they’re that much different, eh?

I’m not aware of any, but then the two sporting cultures are pretty distinct and probably doesn’t lend itself to cross pollination.

I suspect that the best fielders on either sport would cross-over pretty well and the best cricketing batsmen would be able to put bat to ball in baseball, but I’m not sure that specialist bowlers of either type would do well, nor the baseball batters as cricket batsmen, just too different.

At least two that I can think of have tried.

There was a reality TV show in India in 2008, “The Million Dollar Arm”, looking for people who could pitch a baseball. The winner (Rinku Singh) and the runner-up (Dinesh Patel) had never thrown a baseball before competing in the show. Wikipedia indicates that Singh had played cricket; I would have to guess that Patel had, as well. Both of them were signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates organization in 2009.

Singh is apparently still under contract to the Pirates, though he has not yet made it out of the low minor leagues, and has also been pitching in an Australian baseball league, where he’s apparently doing well enough to make an All-Star team last season. Patel was released by the Pirates in 2010.

Not that it means anything but a sport science show I saw a couple years ago did a comparison.IIRC the baseball player hit the bowled cricket ball 10 out of 10 times. The cricket batter in turn, only hit 1 of the 10 pitched baseballs.

I don’t know what that means either. What sort of bowling was each facing? what were the standards of the batsmen, etc. etc. Actually getting bat to ball in cricket isn’t hard. Doing it in a meaningful way and scoring off it for hours on end…is.

Plus, of course the biggest problem is that, in cricket, you don’t actually try to hit each ball. The skill is what to leave and what to hit as you only get one life. In baseball you can have 9.

I think we are back to the OP, they aren’t really comparable sports.

Complete different skill sets as explained by Novelty Bobble. And tbh, they don’t even look similar. I mean here is a video of Michael Holding, one of the great cricket fast bowlers noted for his beautiful run-up and action. And here is Roger Clemens. Personally I find the former a lot more elegant but that’s besides the point. It’s clear that we are talking about very different skills and I doubt either one would be much good at the other.

worth mentioning that the wonderful Michael Holding, as mentioned by Lantern above, had the nickname “Whispering Death”…due to his elegant delivery and determined effort to remove your head.

I just looked at some cricket bowling videos on YouTube and I don’t think they can be compared.

An important thing to remember about pitching a baseball is the sheer violence of the act. It’s enormously destructive on the person doing the pitching. On every pitch the shoulder and elbow of the pitcher are marginally damaged. Bill James once wrote something like “Remember that every pitcher is on a downward slope in terms of pitching ability from their very first pitch in little league. The problem is that it’s almost impossible to tell where they are on the slope and how high they started.”

Also recall that the act of pitching a baseball is so violent and explosive that Dave Dravecky (admittedly with a base injury history), Tom Browning, and Tony Saunders all broke their arms while doing so. Not a ligament or muscle tear or any other soft tissue injury but the actual bones broke. No impact…just the act of applying force to a baseball.

I am not denigrating cricket bowlers in any way. The seem to be excellent at what they do. But to compare it to the mechanics of a baseball pitcher seems pointless. They’re very different things.

Wikipedia lists ‘fast bowlers’ being defined as those that can reach >88mph with a ball. That’s not terribly fast for major league baseball where unless you’re Greg Maddux you’re supposed to at least be able to get up to 90 and even off speed pitches (knuckleballs disregarded) typically hit the mid-70s. I’ve seen ‘official’ reports of 106mph on fastballs but I don’t think I believe them…that seems high but I do believe that there have been some pitchers who hit 100+mph.

Pitchers who are / have been known for their fastballs (e.g., Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson, among many others) will hit 100mph on the radar guns, so it’s not particularly uncommon.

Correct. But remember that a cricket ball is harder and heavier than a baseball and they are allowed to bowl at your head or pretty much any other part of your body! It is certainly fast enough for me.

Speed can be important but far less so in cricket than baseball. You don’t want to stop the batsman hitting the ball as attempted shots are a rich source of catches. The leading wicket takers in Cricket are spin bowlers, i.e. those that bowl at 45-65mph and generate huge amounts of turn off the pitch (or not as the case may be)

It’s only 2mph difference and the best fast bowlers are all over 90mph at times. There are fast bowlers who can reach 100mph.

Bear in mind that a cricket ball is around 10% heavier, so an 88 mph cricket ball has the same momentum as a 96mph baseball, or the same energy as a 92mph baseball

The fastest recorded cricket ball was 100.2 mph. Note I said"recorded", it has been claimed that some bowlers were faster.

While all respect is due to pitchers and their injuries, I think you underestimate the injuries fast men get. They have to run at full tilt for 30-50 yards for every ball and back and shoulder injuries are very very common and at times career ending. Here is an excellent BBC article on the same.

Also, in cricket a ball which is purely fast will be easily dealt with and can even be (and often) is scoring.

I recall David “Syd” Lawrence having his patella catastrophically split on his delivery stride. Apparently they heard it all around the ground…ouch! I’m struggling to think of an injury that seems more painful than that. Other than perhaps breaking your arm in the delivery of a fastball. The energy required to cause either of those makes you wince no matter what sport you play. I think I’d rather take a bouncer to the knackers any day of the week.

Add in the unpredictable nature of bouncing off a slowly deteriorating (over the course of five days) pitch as well. As has been said, it can be easy to hit a cricket ball if you have some skill at projected a piece of wood to a ball, but doing anything meaningful is difficult and keeping the ball out of people’s hands (especially when the ball is rising after a bounce) is even harder still.

Basically, a cricket ball isn’t always supposed to be hard to hit.

I vote not comparable. The only similarity is that it involves two people, a ball and a piece of wood. Both sports have their elements that make it harder than the other sport and that make it easier.

The Arizona Diamondbacks sent a scout to talk to Brett Lee in 2003 because they had been impressed with his athleticism.

According to news reports at the time:
At a trial with the club in Sydney last week, Lee - who had never thrown a baseball before - showed an immediate aptitude for the sport.

He accurately hurled pitches at 140 kilometres per hour, before smashing the ball up to 110 metres with the bat. Lee quipped at one stage: “Wow, you can chuck the ball without getting sledged.” *

As to how he may have gone as a pitcher:

*Lee was identified by Diamondbacks talent scout John Wadsworth, who was watching Australia’s fastest bowler at work on the cricket field.

“He is every bit as good as I thought he’d be. He has good control and good velocity in his throwing,” Wadsworth said after the trial. “And he was doing that without any technique at all - it was straight from the shoulder. He is very lithe and agile. He has a natural throwing ability and I think he would go very well in baseball.”*

Of course cricketers throw (which is close to pitching) all the time when fielding, so it’s not as if it isn’t a relevant and practiced skill for them.

Won’t baseball players do the same?

Ok, all the balls are full tosses. How hard can it be?:dubious::D:D. :wink:

Bart King successfully transitioned from baseball to cricket as a young man, and many respected authorities rate him really highly.