12:17 PM - April 3, 2014 by MMChrisS
For the baseball novice or intermediate, the deep layers of strategy that go into pitching might be above your head. If you find yourself simply randomly picking pitches and locating them randomly around the strike zone, have no fear -- here are five simple tips to help you become a better pitcher in The Show:
- Get ahead! The biggest key in pitching is to get ahead of batters with a first pitch strike as much as possible. By doing so, you have the advantage and you force the batter to defend the plate. If you can get a 0-2 or 1-2 count in the batter, you will find that you can force weak contact more often.
- Don't fall into a routine. The AI in the show is pretty good, and it will pick up on your patterns if you pitch with a routine. Don't throw your fastball on the first pitch each at bat and don't try to strike out a hitter with a curveball each time. Mix it up! You need to hit batters with varying speeds each at-bat to keep them off-base (literally and figuratively).
- If you have a good fastball, use it wisely. If you are playing with a player with a good fastball up in the 90s, an inside heater is a tough pitch to keep up with. However, varying your fastball location is a major key. If your pitcher has different types of fastballs such as a cut, two-seam, and four-seam -- mix those pitches up as well.
- Pitch to the Corners. Obviously you can't fall into a routine, but you do not want your pitches hitting much of the plate. The more of the plate your pitch hits, the more likely strong contact is going to be achieved by the hitter.
- Make sure you mix it up with each at-bat. If you approach a hitter the same way each at-bat, he is going to catch on. My general rule is to apply a loose strategy each time through the lineup. I may give hitters a general diet of fastballs the first time through but will then throw a bunch of off-speed stuff the next time and then randomly pick a strategy for each hitter based upon their first two at-bats the third time through.