household items splitter pitch & cuffs
Do you know how to throw a fastball with your fingers spread?
In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about throwing a splitter that goes beyond “dirty” or “nasty” and generally involves embarrassing the hitter…
but first, check out this masahiro tanaka splitter and tell me it’s not great :
tanaka’s splitter achieves the triple crown of characteristics of what a dominant pitch should exhibit: good speed, generates ground balls and receives hits.
It’s easy to see why in 2014, among all pitchers who threw at least 300 splitters, Tanaka ranked first in hits/swing (46%), first ground ball in play (69%), and second in speed (87.27). average mph).
The splitter is known for its tight rotation and strong speed.
the surprise in the ball’s quick dive into home plate at the last second creates missed swings from the opponent.
The split-finger fastball is strictly an outside pitch.
So, what is the secret of a good divider?
let’s take a closer look at how to grab and throw the splitter…
The split-finger fastball grip is similar to the two-seam fastball, but the fingers are further apart to change rotation and add breaks.
If you have larger hands, the pitch is more effective because it needs to be “drowned” deep in the hand. this reinforces the downward movement of the dividers.
- Place your index and middle fingers on the outside of the horseshoe seam.
- hold firmly.
- throw the wrist on the palm side of the throwing hand directly at the target. keep your index and middle fingers extended upwards; the wrist must remain rigid.
bruce sutter and the split finger fastball
Did you know that Hall of Fame pitcher Bruce Sutter may have had one of the best splitters in baseball history, according to baseball analysts?
here’s a picture of sutter throwing in a game in 1983…love the back of his neck.
to launch a splitter, sutter tells you to do the following:
“put your thumb on the backseam and throw a fastball. this location puts the ball forward, more than a forkball.”
what set sutter apart from forkballers, and before that, spitballers, was how the ball came out of his hand with a spinning action indistinguishable from a fastball.
At 55 feet, the ball fell outside the strike zone.
you can see it here:
Few pitchers in major league history have had better control of the bottom of the strike zone. Sutter rarely threw his splitter for a strike, but it was difficult for batters to fire.
and threw the fastball just enough to keep them guessing. His dominance and his Hall of Fame career can be traced back directly to learning the split-fingered fastball.
more images of splitter grips
did you know? the splitter comes in with a tight spin and good speed and dives at the last second. the grip is similar to the two-seam fastball, but with the fingers further apart to change rotation and add rest. this pitch is usually not thrown for strikes, but rather to coax a swing and miss.
my favorite gif of throwing a splitter
put it all together, and it looks like this…
here’s a ubaldo jimenez splitter that makes torii hunter chase him out of the zone:
now that’s a great release.
read this next: pitching grips (cheat sheet): how to throw 8 different baseball pitches
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