Posted on Monday, May 5th, 2014 by Dov Herzberg
Casual sports fans and their diehard counterparts alike are becoming more and more enamored with the science and the specifics of how athletes perform at such a high level. “Anatomy of a Pitch”, a recent feature by ESPN provides an inside look at how a baseball is thrown.
On this insightful webpage, ESPN presents 8 Diamondbacks Pitchers and the mechanics that they employ to help them pitch successfully. From Brad Ziegler’s submarine technique to Josh Collmenter’s self-described “super overhand” delivery, each of these Major League Pitchers proves that there is more than one right way to throw a baseball. On each player’s page, you can find a video of him describing his motion, heat maps of where his pitches are more and less successful and stats to back up the claim that these pitches work. Let’s just say ESPN covered all their bases (I’m sorry, I had to throw one in there).
While baseball is perceived as a peaceful game, often played on lazy Sunday afternoons, pitching may just be the most violent action in sports. Resulting in injuries, surgeries and disabilities, a pitcher needs precise mechanics to avoid these unfortunate outcomes. It is therefore no shock that virtually all the pitchers discuss a need for balance, keeping their mechanics in line and being comfortable in their motions. When slowed down, it is amazing to see the fluidity of these pitchers’ windups and the precision with which every pitch must be thrown in order for it to end up in the place that the pitcher intends. Pitching is a complex art but this fascinating feature by ESPN really makes it seem simple.