Since the ball will “run” or move, it is best not to use it when you are far behind in the count as it might run out of the zone. The cutter is not the same as a two-seam fastball – it has a very late break to it and breaks opposite of the two seamer. The four-seam fastball is the more basic of the two grips and is easier to throw.
If a beginner tried to command the 2 seam in the opposite arm-side Freeze Zone the ball would be more likely to move back over the plate and end in the Danger Zone. You have to be very careful with movement of the ball in the Freeze Zones because both of them border the Danger Zone. The pitch is held by the pitcher placing his or her index finger and middle fingers in between the two seams that run vertically up the baseball. When releasing the baseball, the pitcher can put more pressure on one of the two fingers, and the baseball will break in that direction. Oftentimes, the desired result of a 2 seam fastball is to “miss the barrel”.
We’ll cover the most often used grip for either and dissect the slight differences to help you learn how to throw both. Doing so requires a sideways tilt to the pitch axis, also known as the “gyro spin,” which keeps a smooth patch on the front of the ball on one side. The 2-seam fastball generally requires more seasoned skills to master than does the 4-seamer, since it has a higher chance of missing the strike zone. Once he’s confident with the pitch, though the 2-seamer can be a bread-and-butter offering for points where he is ahead in the count, or when his team has the lead. Now, with those basics in place, here are some more specifics about the differences between 2-seam and 4-seam fastballs. The final difference lies in the speed of the ball – the 4 seam is one of the fastest pitches used in baseball, and whilst a 2 seam fastball is fast as well, it doesn’t beat the speed of the former pitch.
While known for their diving and arm side action, sinkers and two-seam fastballs have very similar pitch profiles as both can be thrown with high velocities and relatively large amounts of sidespin. Most pitches rely on the spin of the baseball to generate Magnus effect—a force that causes the ball to change directions in a way that depends on the spin of its axis. Smith’s team showed that the way the ball is gripped and released from a pitcher’s hand can significantly affect the two-seam fastball spin axis. A two seam fastball is great when a pitcher wants to influence the direction in which the ball travels. This deceptiveness, alongside the speed in which the ball travels, can overpower the batter. It is often compared to a four seam fastball, however, throwing a two seam is slightly slower as it uses more movement.
Although both require a high amount of velocity to be executed successfully, the 4 seamer tends to have a 1-2 MPH increase in velocity when compared to the 2 seamer. The reason for this lies in the direction, as this type of throw is usually a straighter pitch. In baseball, a fastball in general moves because of the high-pressure zone which is creating in front and underneath the baseball, and this is aided by the stitching on the ball. The figure-eight pattern on the ball isn’t flush to the surface, it is slightly raised, allowing airflow to whirl around it as it moves. Depending on the type of pitch, the trajectory of the ball can be modified and changed.
VAA plays into all of these factors, with a high grade at the top of the zone leading to a great rate of success. Out of all the baseball pitching grips, fastball grips are the easiest to master and be consistent with. This can be a very easy pitch to learn because it isn’t thrown much different than the four seam fastball. I say “allegedly” because some pitchers throw their two seamer a couple miles per hour slower than their two seamer but many throw both pitches just as hard. The index and middle fingers are now placed in line with the seams with the thumb, again, being placed underneath.
One benefit of a four-seam fastball is that it is easy to spot because it has no movement. If you are behind in the count and need a strike, this is a great pitch to use. A risk best switch hitters with throwing the four-seam fastball is that it has no movement. If you place the ball in the center of the strike zone, or a batter’s wheelhouse, you can give up a big hit.