So this post is a little tongue in cheek… but if you haven’t seen this video yet, you have to check it out.
A friend of mine always used to joke that more major league pitchers should throw an Eephus pitch.
And I’m talking about that high, super-slow, lollipop Eephus, not the slow curveball you guys throwing.
Here’s a great one of those by the way:
Yu Darvish 59 MPH Curveball
I mean, can you imagine a major league pitcher practicing his lollipop Eephus down in the bullpen? It’d be hysterical.
See, the problem with the true, super-high, super-slow, Bugs Bunny style Eephus is it’s such a low percentage pitch…
You basically have to drop it right on home plate for it to be a strike! His response to that?
“Yeah, but if you COULD throw it for a strike, it would be unhittable!”
Well, the other day I saw this video… And the kid in me though it was great – you have to give the pitcher credit, it took some guts to throw that pitch… not to mention the amazing accuracy. But it basically proved my point.
Check out the video… total awesomeness (aside from the pitch being a ball):
One thing I would have liked to see was the hitter’s reaction time if he wound up and fired a fastball on the next pitch… a pitch like that will make 90 MPH look like 150 MPH.
(Remember, pitching is all about upsetting a hitter’s timing)
Sadly, that cartoony, slow-pitch softball style Eephus just isn’t practical. But there is a pitch you can throw to get a similar effect – the Yu Darvish style “Eephus curveball.”
The whole idea here is you’re giving the hitter a totally different look, something that’s outside of his mental framework of possible pitch velocities.
And then, when you get that pitch in the back of the hitter’s mind, it gives your fastball that extra little hop (great time to elevate your fastball).
See, it’s not just about velocity… it’s what the hitter sees (or thinks he sees).
This isn’t necessarily for beginners, but once you know the right way to throw a curveball, you can start changing speeds with it, taking something off when you want to, or putting something extra on it.
The best pitchers in the game know how to do this with all of their pitches.
In fact, one of the best things you can learn as a pitcher is how to change speeds with your fastball… it’s all about adding and subtracting.
Here’s a closer look at Darvish “Pulling the String” on his Curveball
Note: the above video is actually one of the many Bonus Videos from my best-selling Curveball Mastery program. You can learn more about that here: CurveballMastery.com/System
Now before wrapping up, a quick word of caution… The thing that makes the Eephus curve so effective is that is has to go along with a good fastball. Otherwise you’re just a junk-baller.
So don’t make the mistake of going to the well too many times, or you’ll end up like El Duque in this video here… Ouch.
Okay, so this was a pretty lighthearted post, mainly because I thought the Japanese pitcher’s Eephus pitch was just too good not to share…
But hopefully in keeping with my mission with this site, you got some valuable nuggets too.
So what do you think, should the MLB bring back the “old school” Eephus?
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