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  • Which pitch is better?

    Tell me which pitch you think is better and why. Curveball or slider?
    People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring. ~Rogers Hornsby

  • #2
    Originally posted by Love The Game View Post
    Tell me which pitch you think is better and why. Curveball or slider?
    Depends who is throwing it. There is no one inately better secondary pitch.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by Love The Game View Post
      Tell me which pitch you think is better and why. Curveball or slider?
      Depends on many things. Who is at bat. What is the count. What was the pitch sequence. What kind of curve is it. What kind of slider. How do they break and what is the speed of each compared with the fastball. The fastball sets up everything else, no matter how slow it is. It's all relative. A changeup coming off an 82 MPH fastball will be just as effective as a changeup coming off a 95 MPH fastball. It's about speed variance. Ignoring all the answers needed to truly answer that question, I will say that I prefer a sharp breaking curveball that breaks on both plaines, thrown at a velocity no more than 13 MPH, and no less than 8 MPH, from the fastball.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Sultan_1895-1948 View Post
        Depends on many things. Who is at bat. What is the count. What was the pitch sequence. What kind of curve is it. What kind of slider. How do they break and what is the speed of each compared with the fastball. The fastball sets up everything else, no matter how slow it is. It's all relative. A changeup coming off an 82 MPH fastball will be just as effective as a changeup coming off a 95 MPH fastball. It's about speed variance. Ignoring all the answers needed to truly answer that question, I will say that I prefer a sharp breaking curveball that breaks on both plaines, thrown at a velocity no more than 13 MPH, and no less than 8 MPH, from the fastball.
        Correct, there is no answer, which pitch is better, whats the situation at the time the pitch is thown. And thats true, you can get as many guys out with a 70 MPH pitch as you can with a 98 MPH pitch.

        Don't remember his exact words but this is close enough....."Hitting is timing, the pitcher's job is to upset the timing." Brilliant words, that wraps up the whole deal. From a guy who should know what he was talking about, one of the greatest Warren Spahn.

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        • #5
          There HAVE been a few pitchers who might have called the curve their feature pitch-although when they threw too many curves they were in big trouble.

          My observation is that the curve tends to be a little tougher on the opposite handed batters than the slider. A curve from a lefty is a little more effective against a righty than a slider-all else being equal. There tend to be more lefties who rely on the curve.

          Also, I think the curve goes a little better with the splitter, or hard sinker. The slider a little better with the basic changeup.

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          • #6
            It's not the pitch that matters, it matters who's throwing it, the batter, and the count.

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            • #7
              Ok guys, I didn't expect such in depth answers to this question. I probably should have. I know the effectiveness of a pitch depends on the situation (count, pitch sequence, the batter, etc., etc.). I'll ask a more specific question. If you were a pitcher in the MLB with a plus fastball 93-96mph, which pitch would you rather have in your arsenal, a 12-6 hammer curve around 73-78mph or a sharp late breaking slide piece at 85-89mph?
              People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring. ~Rogers Hornsby

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              • #8
                The fastball sets up everything else, no matter how slow it is. It's all relative. QUOTE]

                There have been a lot of pitchers who pitch off of sliders and changeups. Not all pitchers set up off their fastball.
                People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring. ~Rogers Hornsby

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Love The Game View Post
                  Ok guys, I didn't expect such in depth answers to this question. I probably should have. I know the effectiveness of a pitch depends on the situation (count, pitch sequence, the batter, etc., etc.). I'll ask a more specific question. If you were a pitcher in the MLB with a plus fastball 93-96mph, which pitch would you rather have in your arsenal, a 12-6 hammer curve around 73-78mph or a sharp late breaking slide piece at 85-89mph?
                  I think (pure opinion) that it depends on whether you have a second, dropping fastball/splitter. If you have a dropping fastball then I would prefer the curve. If you use a circle changeup then I prefer the slider. Its more a matter of speed contrast but I'm saying that I prefer one of 2 options:

                  Fastball, dropping fastball, curve.

                  Fastball, slider, changeup. In this case, the changeup is the slowest pitch and so the slider gives you a middle pitch.

                  The biggest potetial problem with the curve is that it is probably easier to lose control of in the sense that you can throw a good curve, and still consistently miss the zone. Its a little easier to lay off of than the slider.

                  For a lefty I might SLIGHTLY prefer the curve.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Love The Game View Post

                    There have been a lot of pitchers who pitch off of sliders and changeups. Not all pitchers set up off their fastball.
                    Who pitches off anything other than a fastball. That pitcher would get rocked. Lets back up. Maybe you misunderstand what I am saying. I'm not even saying that the fastball has to be his featured pitch, his out pitch, or anything like that.

                    What I am saying, is that everything works off the fastball. Whether it's Moyer, Gagne, Oswalt, Glavine, Santana, Hoffman, etc..You establish your fastball, whether it be 85 or 95, and your other pitchers are only effective based on the hitter's respect for that pitch and your ability to locate with it. (Btw; one of the reasons I don't believe Pedro will ever reach near the same level of pitching, is due to his fastball velocity decrease).

                    Hitters think fastball and adjust, bottom line.

                    That is the only successful way of hitting on a consistent basis. The main reason the splitty is so effective, is because speed wise, its close to a fastball and appears to be a fastball until it dips. Changeup has fastball arm motion. Hitters' knees buckle on curves because they are thinking fastball and adjusting. The great hitters can turn on the heater and keep their hands back on offspeed stuff, still driving it.

                    This isn't to say their aren't guess hitters. There are hitters who guess location and there are hitters who guess the pitch in certain situations and counts. The point remains though. Everything works off the fastball. Believe it. If you don't, feel free to ask people who have played the game beyond high school, either on here, or anywhere else for other opinions.

                    To answer your question again. I would prefer a sharp curveball that breaks on both plaines (side to side and up and down) at about 77-82 MPH if the guy throws 90. Technically that would be a slurve. A true curve in really 12-6, like Nolan's or Gooden's, and a true slider breaks on both plaines, but more side to side. Smoltz has a great one that he throws hard and appears to be a heater until breaking away and slightly down.
                    Last edited by Sultan_1895-1948; 05-18-2008, 08:11 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sultan_1895-1948 View Post

                      Hitters think fastball and adjust, bottom line.

                      Johnny Bench said that in '72 when everything was going perfectly, he would actually go up to the plate thinking breaking ball, and then reacting to the fastball because at the time he felt he could turn on anyone's fastball reflexively. Granted he only hit .270 but relatively he was pretty dominant.

                      When Darryl Kile pitched in Colorado, I felt that he worked off of the curve. He wasn't successful though. He spent about half of his pitches trying to locate his curve, and then was forced to throw his 88 MPH fastball and everyone in the ballpark knew it was coming.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by brett View Post
                        Johnny Bench said that in '72 when everything was going perfectly, he would actually go up to the plate thinking breaking ball, and then reacting to the fastball because at the time he felt he could turn on anyone's fastball reflexively. Granted he only hit .270 but relatively he was pretty dominant.

                        When Darryl Kile pitched in Colorado, I felt that he worked off of the curve. He wasn't successful though. He spent about half of his pitches trying to locate his curve, and then was forced to throw his 88 MPH fastball and everyone in the ballpark knew it was coming.


                        That Bench scenario must have been only against a certain pitcher or pitchers at a certain point in time. No way you can take that approach and hit successfully for any length of time.

                        Kile's had a great curveball that was effective because of his fastball. Hitters can sit on, and hit any curve, no matter how good it is. It needs to be working off something. Zito doesn't have a fastball that demands respect, we see where he is.

                        So you're disagreeing with my post then?
                        Last edited by Sultan_1895-1948; 05-18-2008, 08:45 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Sultan_1895-1948 View Post
                          Who pitches off anything other than a fastball. That pitcher would get rocked. Lets back up. Maybe you misunderstand what I am saying. I'm not even saying that the fastball has to be his featured pitch, his out pitch, or anything like that.

                          What I am saying, is that everything works off the fastball. Whether it's Moyer, Gagne, Oswalt, Glavine, Santana, Hoffman, etc..You establish your fastball, whether it be 85 or 95, and your other pitchers are only effective based on the hitter's respect for that pitch and your ability to locate with it. (Btw; one of the reasons I don't believe Pedro will ever reach near the same level of pitching, is due to his fastball velocity decrease).

                          Hitters think fastball and adjust, bottom line.

                          That is the only successful way of hitting on a consistent basis. The main reason the splitty is so effective, is because speed wise, its close to a fastball and appears to be a fastball until it dips. Changeup has fastball arm motion. Hitters' knees buckle on curves because they are thinking fastball and adjusting. The great hitters can turn on the heater and keep their hands back on offspeed stuff, still driving it.

                          This isn't to say their aren't guess hitters. There are hitters who guess location and there are hitters who guess the pitch in certain situations and counts. The point remains though. Everything works off the fastball. Believe it. If you don't, feel free to ask people who have played the game beyond high school, either on here, or anywhere else for other opinions.

                          To answer your question again. I would prefer a sharp curveball that breaks on both plaines (side to side and up and down) at about 77-82 MPH if the guy throws 90. Technically that would be a slurve. A true curve in really 12-6, like Nolan's or Gooden's, and a true slider breaks on both plaines, but more side to side. Smoltz has a great one that he throws hard and appears to be a heater until breaking away and slightly down.
                          I agree that the fastball is the best and most effective pitch in the game. Most hurlers set up off of it. Not all. I played baseball and pitched through college and I pitched (for the most part off Uncle Charlie) I had a mediocre heater-- 83-85 but a wicked yacker. If a pitcher has a pitch that is more difficult to hit than their fastball they work off that pitch. Trevor Hoffman, for example. He pitches off his changeup because it is so deceptive. The key with him is hitters go up there looking change and still can't square it up most of the time. Then when he throws his 84mph heater they are foooled by that. So in my opinion he pitches off his change. Mariano Rivera pitches off his cutter, which is just a very hard slider with less downwars tilt. He also throws a two seamer he runs in on righties and away from lefties which is more of a true fastball than his cut, so he doesn't pitch off a conventional fastball. There are a ton of lefthanded relief guys with a 3/4 to sidearm delivery who throw 90% sliders and back them up with the occasional heater. Heater works off that slider in that situation. There are others I could list. I agree with you for the most part, but there are very succesfull exceptions. Another is Wakefield, but knucklers are in a whole different category.
                          Last edited by Love The Game; 05-18-2008, 10:10 PM.
                          People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring. ~Rogers Hornsby

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Sultan_1895-1948 View Post
                            That Bench scenario must have been only against a certain pitcher or pitchers at a certain point in time. No way you can take that approach and hit successfully for any length of time.

                            Kile's had a great curveball that was effective because of his fastball. Hitters can sit on, and hit any curve, no matter how good it is. It needs to be working off something. Zito doesn't have a fastball that demands respect, we see where he is.

                            So you're disagreeing with my post then?

                            No, I'm just pointing out some rare and somewhat exceptional instances. Bench may have gotten so dangerous for a couple seasons that pitchers were afraid to throw their fastball very much. I'll try to find his quote.

                            With Kile, I just know that in Colorado, he would throw a curve to start of the batter probably 55% of the time. If he missed, it was like: Uh-Oh, what can he do know. He can throw another curve and risk missing, or throw a fastball that everybody is expecting. That was largely due to the troubles of Coors though. I remember him throwing about 38 pitches in the first 2 innings one game, and you could guess 75% what he was going to throw.

                            My real problem with the curve versus the slider is that if you are missing with the curve, it is useless. If you miss with the slider I think it can still set up the other pitches

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Love The Game View Post
                              I had a mediocre heater-- 83-85 but a wicked yacker. If a pitcher has a pitch that is more difficult to hit than their fastball they work off that pitch. Trevor Hoffman, for example. He pitches off his changeup because it is so deceptive. The key with him is hitters go up there looking change and still can't square it up most of the time. Then when he throws his 84mph heater they are foooled by that. So in my opinion he pitches off his change.
                              The threat of the fastball is what makes the other pitches so effective.

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