# pitching physics

A maj. league pitcher throws from 60’ 6" on a mound about 1’ high. When that guy throws a sinker, the pitch travells pretty much parallel to the ground (slightly down due to the mound hight). Why is it that for the first 58 feet the ball travells along this parallel path then 2 feet before it gets to the batter it takes a sharp dive downward. (yes I understand the whole air over the seams/ change in pressure thing). What I really need to know is why doesn’t the pitch break 4 feet or 6 feet infront? If you move the pitcher back would the ball break at the same point (2 feert infront of the plate)? Or would it break at the same point in the balls travel (now 6 feet infront)? If you move the pitcher 4 feet infront of the mound would the pitch break at all?

Here is a recent article where scientists discuss English footballer David Beckham’s ability to kick amazing banana kicks.

In part it says -

“What is so complicated is that there is a fundamental flow transition that occurs at different ball speeds depending on the spin rate,” said Dr Hanna. “So, for instance, if Beckham hits the ball at 80mph and puts very little spin on it, it would not dip in a pronounced way. Beckham has figured out how to balance the kick angle, kick speed, spin imparted and kick direction to get this optimal turbulent-laminar transition trajectory that is impossible for any goalkeeper to save.”

Sounds pretty complicated.