PDA

View Full Version : Question about Batter vs. Pitcher



eg8r
10-09-2003, 08:00 PM
While watching the game tonight, the announcers mentioned something I had not heard before. The announcer stated that it is much different for a right-handed batter to face a right-handed pitcher, than for a left-handed batter to face a left-handed pitcher. Now except for the obvious right versus left, what is the difference. Why is it so different? Am I mistaking what the announcers are saying?

eg8r

Kato
10-09-2003, 08:32 PM
I think they were speaking of Andy Petite's inability to throw a tailing fastball to a lefty causing him to leave the ball out over the plate on occasion. I believe I saw a stat that lefties hit .360 or such against him this year.

Miquel Tajahra of the Marlin's was also shelled continously by lefties (interestingly enough, righties didn't have much trouble either) /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

In the division series Trader Jack brought in the D-Train, Dontrell Willis (a lefty) to pitch to Barry Bonds. No sweat, he K's Barry and then proceeds to give up 2 hits in a row to righties. Since relief pitching in baseball has become a situational specific job there are lefty's like Jesse Orosco still in the bigs and I'm sure he once pitched to Ty Cobb!!!!!!!!! Jesse's job for the last 10 years has been to come in and get 1 hitter, a lefty, then go sit down and eat sunflower seeds.

Without having solid stats in front of me to give you I believe I can tell you that lefty vs lefty matchups and righty vs righty matchups are what most managers look for. This is also why clubs will platoon players depending on pitchers and managers will stack their lineups with righty's or lefty's depending on the opposing pitchers. This is also why good switch hitters are at a premium.

Kato~~~really, really, really loves baseball /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

Keith Talent
10-09-2003, 08:59 PM
I think the difference is because there are more righties than lefties, which gives southpaws an advantage. Right-handers grow up facing mostly right-handed pitching ... I think it's about 90% at lower levels, decreasing to maybe 65-70% in the pros.

Lefty batters also get more used to facing righties ... so when they face the less common lefty pitcher, they're at even more of a disadvantage, ordinarily, than a righty is against a right-hander.

Spoken by a right-hander who went from a .400 Little Leaguer to a .235 high school hitter because he couldn't hit a right-hander's curve ball worth a damn. /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

Kato
10-09-2003, 09:16 PM
Keith, correct me if I'm wrong but when a righty pitches to a lefty or visa versa they are pitching directly into the wheel house of the batter. I believe you have a point about righty's probably hitting righty's better because a much greater percentage of players are right handers.

Unfortunately, I think your batting average slipped because not for any other reason than you couldn't hit the curve ball? Happens a great deal. Probably many a good prospect has gone down the tubes not being able to deal with a professional curve ball. Case in point, Drew Henson. The Yankees dumped a ton of money into him before he finally realized that hitting .210 and striking out 150 times a year in A ball wasn't gonna get him there. He switched back to football, probably a good move.

A couple years ago I got back into the cage, the softball cage. I accidentally went into the 75 mph cage. Damn if that thing wasn't on me in 2 seconds. The first 2 flew by me (first one I never swung at), the next 3 I fouled off to the right side. The next few I hit back up the box before I finally timed a few to pull. That's where my power always lay. Sadly, I realized how poor my bat speed was with my 31 oz bat and had to go to my 26 oz batting practice bat. I stayed in that cage for an hour working on that machine. I never could have hit an 85 mph fastball let alone a big curve ball /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif

Kato

Keith Talent
10-09-2003, 11:38 PM
Kato,

I gotta agree it's humbling to step into a batting cage when you're, er, getting on in years. Just hitting the "medium" fastball was plenty tough the last time I tried, maybe 5 years ago ... if the machine could mix in the odd yakker, I'd have fallen right on my a$$! Think I got decent contact a couple of times in the "fast" cage, a couple of foul tips, and plenty of whiffs.

Definitely it was the curve that made a tennis player and a student of pool out of me. The one that dives away from me, from a righty, that is. Can still remember when our freshman coach surprised me with a big bender in practice ... he was a lefty, supposedly had pitched in the minors ... anyway, I can still see it coming in slow and high, right into the wheelhouse, as you said. Surprised the hell out of myself by slamming it for a triple ... but, weirdly, to the opposite field ... a back-door curve, maybe? But from a righty, a curve or slider just looked like another fastball and I'd usually miss it by 3 feet! Former cleanup hitter found himself batting 7th ...

Vapros
10-09-2003, 11:56 PM
It's a fact that a left-handed hitter can see a pitch from a right-handed pitcher best, and vice versa. This is why so many right-handed players learn to hit left-handed, because most pitchers are right handed. It's also why it's worth while to learn to be a switch-hitter.

But there's a bit more to it than that. I will never believe that a left-handed pitcher is a mirror image of a righty. For some reason, he does it differently, and both his fastball and his breaking pitches come to you in a sort of crossfire. They seem to come in under your elbow and then cross the plate headed west, even on the outside edge of the strike zone. Left-handed people are different, take my word for it. It's true among bowlers, also. They have a different motion, and throw the hook naturally.

Some people will say this makes no sense, but it's my story and I'm stickin' to it until somebody gives me a better explanation. Lefty against lefty is a tougher proposition than righty against righty.

Rich R.
10-10-2003, 04:21 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Vapros:</font><hr> It's a fact that a left-handed hitter can see a pitch from a right-handed pitcher best, and vice versa. <hr /></blockquote>
Exactly!

The batters eye picks up the ball sooner, if it is being thrown by a pitcher, if the pitcher is the opposite (hand) of the batter.
Lefty vs Righty.

eg8r
10-10-2003, 06:15 AM
[ QUOTE ]
Without having solid stats in front of me to give you I believe I can tell you that lefty vs lefty matchups and righty vs righty matchups are what most managers look for. <hr /></blockquote> I already knew this...but the way I heard them, they were saying that the L-on-L is tougher than R-on-R.

Oh well, just seemed a bit odd to me.

eg8r &lt;~~~Enjoying the series so far

eg8r
10-10-2003, 06:19 AM
[ QUOTE ]
Exactly!

The batters eye picks up the ball sooner, if it is being thrown by a pitcher, if the pitcher is the opposite (hand) of the batter.
Lefty vs Righty. <hr /></blockquote> I understand this...that was not the question. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif I was trying to understand why L-on-L is worse than R-on-R.

eg8r

eg8r
10-10-2003, 06:21 AM
[ QUOTE ]
A couple years ago I got back into the cage, the softball cage. I accidentally went into the 75 mph cage. Damn if that thing wasn't on me in 2 seconds. <hr /></blockquote> ROFL...I cannot stop laughing. I guess that is a big suprise when you are waiting on the slow pitch softball. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

eg8r

Fred Agnir
10-10-2003, 06:51 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote eg8r:</font><hr> While watching the game tonight, the announcers mentioned something I had not heard before. The announcer stated that it is much different for a right-handed batter to face a right-handed pitcher, than for a left-handed batter to face a left-handed pitcher. Now except for the obvious right versus left, what is the difference. Why is it so different? Am I mistaking what the announcers are saying?

eg8r <hr /></blockquote>Two reasons:

The biggest being that a right-hander faces a right-hander more often than a left-hander faces a left-hander. So, seeing that type of pitch with that type of approach is more common for the right/right.

The other reason is the sweeping curveball, a pitch left-handers develop specifically to pitch to left-hand batters. Add to the fact that a left/left combo is less common, and then you have to face the sweeping curve (or worse, the sidearm slider) your batting percentage would go down.

However, a lefty straight ball pitcher who might throw more over-the-top or 3/4 fastballs and cutters haven't had the big advantage that they've had in the past against lefties. Take Andy Pettite, a sinker/fastball pitcher who rarely throws a curve. Lefties batted better against him than righties.

This all assumes you understand why a lefty sees a right-hand pitcher better. And a righty sees the left-hand pitches better.

Fred

Fred Agnir
10-10-2003, 07:00 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Kato:</font><hr> Keith, correct me if I'm wrong but when a righty pitches to a lefty or visa versa they are pitching directly into the wheel house of the batter. <hr /></blockquote>
That's the old school advice which still mostly hold true. But, with Greg Maddux and his tailing fastball that works much better than yesterday's screwball ever did, many right-hand pitchers aren't necessarily pitching a ball into a lefties wheelhouse.

Derek Lowe's two strikeouts on Sunday were perfect examples of that tailing pitch. But Lowe's was a tailing two-seamer that start out at the batter's chin. Perfect unhittable righty vs. lefty pitch.

Fred