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Pitching From The Windup Meaning In MLB

By Mahesh Bajagain / 25 September 2023 09:15 AM

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Pitching From The Windup Meaning is a technique that pitchers employ to deliver the ball. It describes the starting position and movement of a pitcher.

When a pitcher in baseball prepares to throw the ball, they begin by placing both feet on or close to a rubber strip on the mound and bringing their hands together in front of them. They start out in this location. After lifting one leg, they go on to the other before throwing the ball at home plate.

There are two primary throwing motions used by pitchers in baseball:

  • The Windup and 
  • The Stretch

These two approaches take into account a pitcher's particular style and various game conditions. 

Pitchers use the windup, when no runners are in scoring position or if they choose it. Although it takes a longer time, it results in a stronger throw for them. They frequently extend to bring the ball to the plate faster when there are runners on base since it is quicker and easier to do so.

On the other hand, the stretch makes the pitching motion simpler. The pitcher starts by placing his front foot on or very close to the rubber, avoiding the full leg kick. The decreased action of the stretch helps pitchers conserve energy, which enhances their ability to control their pitches under pressure.

What Does Pitching From The Windup Meaning?

Pitching from the windup means a method used by pitchers in baseball or softball When there are no baserunners or only runners on base who are not in scoring position.

A pitcher stands on the pitcher's plate with one foot on it, often the back foot and the other foot free when they are in the windup. This is where the pitcher will begin to deliver a pitch to the hitter.

Here are the steps for pitching from the windup:

  • Start by facing the hitter and pointing at home plate with both of your feet on the rubber.
  • Keep your right foot on the rubber if you're a right-handed pitcher.
  • Take a slight step back with your left foot to start the pitch (for beginning pitchers, this should be between 4 and 6 inches).
  • Right-handed pitchers face third base; turn 90 degrees so that your left shoulder is pointing towards home plate.
  • Bend the knee of your left leg and lift it up.
  • Now take a large step with your left foot towards home plate and toss the ball to the catcher. On the rubber, keep your left foot aligned with your right foot.
  • Maintain a low profile as you close out your pitch with a strong follow-through.

Pitch from the windup is said to be a more comfortable and rhythmic technique. It is because the pitcher can begin their motion with both feet on the rubber and is not required to worry about holding runners on base.

Similarly, A distinct pitching posture known as the "stretch" position is frequently used by pitchers when there are baserunners in scoring position. In order to stop baserunners from stealing or moving forward, pitchers throw the ball to the plate faster.

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Advantages of pitching from the windup:

  • Power and momentum: A pitcher can increase the speed and power of their delivery by using the windup. Pitchers can increase their kinetic energy by taking a full step back before moving forward, which may lead to faster pitches.
  • Consistency: The motion produced by the windup is steady and repeatable. Pitchers can master a rhythm and timing that keeps them in control and precise.
  • Keeping the Ball Covered: In order to effectively cover the baseball from the batter, pitchers can use wind-up. The batter finds it more difficult to pick up the ball once it is released when the hands are placed behind the body, making it more difficult to predict the pitch.
  • Pitch Diversity: A broader variety of pitch types and variations are frequently possible with windup deliveries. Leg kicks, pauses, and other techniques can be used by the pitcher to trick the hitter and keep them off balance. 
  • Psychological Stability: Some pitchers are more at ease and secure when they wind up their pitches. They may be able to focus on their mechanics and execution when they find their rhythm.
  • Timing of the pitcher: When using the windup, pitchers could find it simpler to keep their own tempo and rhythm. Better consistency and overall performance may result from this.
  • Strategic Benefit: Utilizing the windup can occasionally offer a tactical benefit. For instance, the windup can make it more difficult for the runner to time a potential squeeze play with a runner on third base and less than two outs.
  • Some pitchers choose to use the windup even with runners on base, even though the stretch is frequently used when there are baserunners. This can be helpful in some circumstances because it enables the pitcher to keep using their usual mechanics and might cause baserunners to get confused.

Pitching From The Windup Vs Stretch

Pitching From The Windup vs Stretch are two different ways that pitchers used to pitch the ball against the batter.

Since the early 1800s, the windup has been the most common method of pitching in baseball. It is the simplest way, but it is also the slowest and least deceptive. Up until the 1870s, when sidearm and overhand throws were created as modifications, it was the only way for pitching.

Source : twitter

The windup was the primary pitching technique until the beginning of the twentieth century because it allowed pitchers to deliver a variety of pitches with varying arm angles and speeds, making it difficult for hitters to figure out their approach to the game.

The pitcher is in the stretch position when facing the batter with one foot on the pitcher's plate and the other in front. The pitcher must be holding the ball in both hands and coming to a complete halt.

Clayton Kershaw windup against Gabrial Moreno was like a jump throw to the plate as he tried to stop his motion at the beginning. It produced a 65 MPH lob which fell well outside the strike zone on the first pitch of the at-bat.

Here are the fundamentals of pitching from the stretch for right-handed pitchers are as follows:

  • Start by placing your right foot on the rubber border of the base with both feet oriented in the direction of the third base.
  • In front of your chest, converge your hands.
  • Get into the "set" posture by lifting your left leg and bending your knee.
  • Keep your left foot in step with your right foot, which is still on the rubber, as you take a step toward home plate.
  • Make your pitch by handing the baseball to the catcher as you go.
  • Keep your pitch going, and end in a low position.
  • The throwing motion from the stretch should be the same as the windup once you elevate your left leg; the main difference is the starting position.

Pitching Out Of The Stretch Vs Windup

Pitching out of the stretch Vs windup is more versatile as it decreases the range of mobility in your pitching technique. 

Pitching out of the stretch mean shorter leg motion and but quickest delivery toward the hitter. Here are the advantages of Pitching Out Of The Stretch Vs Windup:

  • Faster Delivery: Pitching from the stretch makes it possible to get the ball to the plate more quickly. This is essential when there are base runners since it cuts down on the amount of time potential base stealers have to progress.
  • Higher Control: The stretch position frequently leads to better control of pitches due to the streamlined movements. It's simpler to consistently hit the strike zone when there are fewer moving pieces.
  • Stress Reduction: The stretch position is less physically demanding for the pitcher's body than the windup. It needs fewer movements and can aid in energy conservation throughout a game.
  • Pitchers frequently find it simpler to maintain a constant release point and mechanics from the stretch, which can improve performance in general.
  • Pitchers in the stretch position concentrate more on keeping runners on base and preventing them from stealing by focusing on them. They are able to throw quickly to the bases or pick off runners.
  • The stretch posture is a suitable option in high-pressure situations because it requires fewer steps and is frequently regarded as being simpler and easier to execute.

While pitching from the stretch has its benefits, it's crucial to remember that pitchers also use the windup when there are no runners in scoring position or when they want to mix up their pitches and throw toward opponents with surprise. The decision between the two is made based on the particular game situation, the pitcher's comfort level in either position and their relative efficacy.

In conclusion, the main difference is the use of pitching out of the stretch results in a quicker and more controlled delivery, when base runners are a concern. With no runners in scoring position, windup pitching is used which gives the pitcher more time to produce power and variation in his deliveries.

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