Don’t be a half a player!
You just threw a great pitch, causing the hitter roll over and hit a grounder to your first baseman. You did your job, a sure out if you do the right things.
RIGHT WAY: Come off the mound and sprint on an angle towards the line, focusing on a point about three (3) feet before the bag. As you cut, bring your glove and throwing hand just below your chin (alligator hands), calling for the ball. This provides a direct target for your first baseman to throw too.
WRONG WAY: Taking a direct line to the bag increases the difficulty of a sure-out by three-fold:
- Forces your first baseman to become a quarterback, anticipating and leading his throw
- Forces you to Blindly Find the Bag with your Feet – Panic you look away from the throw
- Forces you to attempt to catch a ball without looking
Check out the video below. This was actually the second time Luis Severino chose the wrong angle when covering the bag. He dropped them both, but this was after Mark Teixeira made a great diving catch [a sure out], and resulted in a Run.
Until next blog, take your Pitcher Fielding Practices (PFPs) seriously – You never know.