Baseball Pitching Tips: The Four-Seam and Two-Seam Fastball PRO TIPS by DICK’S Sporting Goods
We usually see most pitchers either put their thumb directly underneath the ball or just off-center. Likewise, the ring finger is placed on the side of the ball in order to help best budget pitching machine maintain control while the pinky finger is completely off. Looking at the GIF above, we can immediately see that the index and middle fingers are leveraged onto both seams.
The pressure point of the thumb on the ball is along the inside bony surface of the first joint. I prefer teaching a standard rotation curve because it allows for faster rotation and therefore the chance for a sharper break. Check out the movement on this pitch to get Mark Teixeira swinging… Don’t try to get too much backside drive and hip rotation into the pitch.
Hold the ball should slightly unbalanced by off centering the ball toward the ring finger and applying more pressure to the first finger pad. Hold the ball with two fingers close together inside with or along the narrow seams, or across the narrow seams. The ball comes out of the hand as the wrist flexes forward to a neutral position and the hand crosses a line about even with the pitcher’s face.
The 2-seam fastball is a type of breaking fastball pitch. The pitch has somewhat the speed of a fastball but also the movement of a screwball. If a pitcher places pressure on the index finger, the ball will run away from right-handed batters from a right-handed pitcher. If the pressure is placed on the middle finger, the ball will run away from left-handed batters. The 2 seam fastball grip is not used by every pitcher because of the movement the pitch has. On the opposite side, you will find some pitchers who throw more off-speed pitches will top their four-seam fastball out in the low to mid-eighties.
So, you can follow the steps and develop the perfect positioning and angle for your pitch. But a minimum strength in your pitching arm is necessary. The splitter pitching grip was invented by Roger Craig and is popular amongst ace players such as Bruce Sutter, Rich Harden, and David Cone. The palmball (sometimes called a palm ball or four-finger changeup) is one of two or three variations of the changeup. All those factors help determine how you should throw the two seam fastball, as well as many other pitches. With the two seamer you will try to put just a little bit more pressure on the index finger than on the middle finger.
Check out this change up from Max Scherzer to strike out Adam Dunn… I literally feel like crying on behalf of hitters everywhere. This next video clip of Johnny Cueto’s two-seamer really brings it together for us. The arm continues downward across and outside the lead leg for a good long smooth arc of deceleration. Flex the ring finger into the palm with only the inside of the second knuckle touching and stabilizing the ball.
The four-seam fastball is perhaps the most common pitch and the first baseball pitching grip that beginners learn. This pitching grip is fast but also gives the pitchers greater control on where they place the pitch. If thrown correctly, the cut fastball should produce a few inches of late movement that will break away from a right handed hitter when thrown from a right handed pitcher.