Catching: How to block a Wild Pitch<br />By: Benjamin Brown<br />
Steps to blocking a Baseball<br />Pre-Pitch<br />Be Aware/Know the Situation<br />Positioning<br />Post-Block<br />Talk It Over<br />The Importance of Blocking<br />
Pre-Pitch<br />Before you even call the pitch go out in front of the plate and also behind it and make sure the dirt is smooth so you get a true bounce. <br />Check to see if there are any base runners.<br />Know where you are going to go with the ball for all situations so you will not hesitate. A catchers hesitation could cost a team.<br />
Be Aware/Know the Situation<br />Is it catchable???<br />You always have to be ready for a ball in the dirt but you can’t always drop to your knees for every low pitch so determine if the ball is catchable or not.<br />What’s the Pitch???<br />Different types of pitches move in very different ways, so you need to know where the pitch is going to get into position. For example a curve ball will curve away from the plate but then once it hits the ground it will spin back towards it, so you know where it’s going.<br />
Be Aware/Know the Situation<br />Pitch Count???<br />Certain pitch counts call for pitches that are in the dirt, so that they are unhittable. For example if there are 2 strikes and 1 ball then the pitch will probably be called in the dirt to make the hitter chase the pitch.<br />Base Runners???<br />If there are runners on base then you do not want to go down to your knees unless you have to, so make sure the ball is uncatchable. After you block the pitch you need to throw your mask off and “pounce” on the ball and be ready to throw.<br />
Postioning<br />Where do I need to be???<br />You need to lunge your body out in front of the ball so there is no way the ball will go past you.<br />What do I do with my glove???<br />You need to have your glove in between your legs blocking your “5” hole so the ball does not go through your legs. Put your throwing hand behind the glove to protect it. <br />Remember the object of blocking the ball is not catching it, sometimes you will, but do not try to catch it.<br />
Positioning<br />Is there a certain stance???<br />Yes, you need to be on your knees, with your head down watching the ball all the way. You also need to lean out over the ball so you can control where the ball goes after you block it.<br />Control where the ball goes???<br />Yes, by looking at the pitch you will keep your head down and your chest over the ball and that will make deaden the ball and it will bounce right in front of you. If you don’t keep you chest down it might take a unusual bounce and go behind you or way off to the side.<br />
Post Block<br />What happens after I block it???<br />After it is blocked you need to throw off your mask and then the first thing is to locate the ball. Then you must get to the ball as fast as you can, pick it up and be ready to throw in case the base runners are advancing.<br />Ready to throw???<br />Do not bring the ball up in a circular motion like other positions in baseball. Catchers need to bring the ball directly to their ear because they have to get the ball out and on its way much faster than other players.<br />
Talk it Over<br />Should I talk to the pitcher about it???<br />Defiantly, the pitcher might have not known the sign or there if he just wasn’t focused.<br />If a pitcher ever crosses up a catcher then it is very dangerous. The catcher could think a curve ball is coming so he is putting his glove where he thinks the ball should be then a fastball hits him in the chest. <br />Crossed Up???<br />A pitcher crosses up a catcher when he throws something other than the sign that the catcher gave him, so the catcher is fooled by the pitch.<br />
Importance of Blocking Pitches<br />Blocking pitches is very important, if the ball gets by the catcher then any base runners will be able to advance. A run could be scored or a base runner who was on first could move into scoring position and then one hit could score them.<br />Another situation is that with 2 strikes on the hitter if he swung and missed but the catcher dropped the ball then he is able to run to first.<br />
The end<br />And now you know how to block a pitch in the dirt.<br />
Works Cited<br />Background Photograph Courtesy of Benjamin Brown<br />Information Courtesy of Mark Schuerer, Portland St. Patrick’s HS Baseball Coach.<br />
A particular slide catching your eye?
Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.