When a right-handed pitcher throws the 2-seam ball to the center with the right hand, it will still move to the left; likewise, if thrown by a left-handed pitcher, it moves to the right. The arm movement of the four-seam fastball is a simple, normal pitch. It does not require the snapping of the wrist or a twist of the arm. Hold the ball so that the seams form what looks like a backward C – or a sideways horseshoe.
If you throw this pitch to hitters using wooden bats, you may notice several broken bats because of the late break of the ball. If you are throwing against aluminum bats you will notice that the pitch often avoids the “sweet spot” of the bat. The pitch is held by passed ball 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.
The 4-seam fastball is such a great option to use when you know that a hitter’s weakness is a specific location. The 4-SEAM FASTBALL with good downward spin will hold a line to targets very well. One of the keys to being successful as a pitcher is the ability to throw the ball to locations that hitters can’t make solid contact. The 2-seam fastball is a type of breaking fastball pitch. The pitch has somewhat the speed of a fastball but also the movement of a screwball. Because of this, a good hitter can usually time a pitcher’s four-seam fastball.
We will revisit this topic in a later post to describe a few more variations and strategies involving the 2 and 4 seam fastball. The general rule for right handed pitchers is that throwing to a left handed batter, you will be placed at an advantage because the batter will be forced to be jammed inside with the pitch. The same goes for right handed batters facing a left handed pitcher. The more grips that you can master and control, the bigger your advantage will be as a pitcher.
A four-seam fastball is part of the fastball family but is not the only type of fastball. Grip the ball along the seams, at the part of the ball where the seams are closest together, with your middle and index fingers and put your thumb under the ball, in the smooth area between the narrow seams. Exert pressure on the ball with your middle finger and thumb.