You may have seen or heard the word “crossfire” while watching a baseball broadcast or reading baseball-related news. This is a word that is especially heard when a left-handed pitcher and a right-handed batter play against each other, but what exactly does that mean? Also, what should I be careful about when throwing a crossfire?
Here, we will introduce the features and merits of crossfire in baseball, points when throwing, and so on.
【table of contents】
■ What is a baseball crossfire?
A baseball crossfire is a pitch that a pitcher throws into a course that is diagonal to his dominant arm. It can be rephrased as a pitching technique in which the trajectory of the ball crosses diagonally over the home base and the trajectory of the ball crosses.
In the case of a left-handed pitcher, the ball is thrown into the in-course (inner angle) of the right batter, and in the case of a right-handed pitcher, the ball is thrown into the in-course of the left batter.
Originally, it can be said that the right pitcher throws the ball diagonally, but in general, it often means “the left pitcher throws a straight to the inside corner of the right batter”.
In the case of a left-handed pitcher, the range of pitching will greatly expand when the crossfire becomes available. Especially for pitchers with throwing forms such as three-quarters and sidearms, which make it easier to angle the ball, it may be a good idea to incorporate a crossfire.
■ Advantages of crossfire
What are the specific benefits of crossfire? The advantages of using a crossfire for a left-handed pitcher are as follows.
1. 1.You can angle the ball
The ball thrown by the crossfire draws a trajectory that bites into the batter’s body. The ball is more angled than the straight thrown by a right-handed pitcher to the inside angle, and there is a possibility that a strike can be taken even if the batter looks like a warp.
Even if the batter comes to hit, there is a high probability that if the ball has power, it can be inserted and made into a mediocre hit.
Also, if you use the crossfire internal angle attack well, the batter should be aware of the in-course. It will also lead to widespread use of the strike zone, such as the ball on the out course (outer angle) side going.
2.Batters are not very accustomed to
The absolute number of left-handed pitchers is smaller than that of right-handed pitchers. Many batters are not accustomed to seeing the ball going through the internal angle from the left pitcher, and it is easy to feel the difficulty of hitting, which is also an advantage of crossfire.
■ Points when throwing a crossfire
Crossfire is one of the most powerful pitching techniques for left fielders. However, if you use it incorrectly, there is a risk that the batter will hit you long. If you want to make good use of crossfire, it is important to know the points of throwing.
Here are three points for a left pitcher to throw a crossfire against a right batter. If you are a left-handed pitcher, please refer to it.
・ Throw it into the in-course
Crossfire is effective by scooping out the inside angle of the batter with an angled ball. It is important not to be afraid of dead balls and to throw the ball boldly.
You need precise control, but be aware that you should swing your arm and throw it in-course instead of aiming too much at the four corners of the strike zone with the intention of “taking a strike.”
Also, the ball thrown by the crossfire passes near the center of the strike zone before reaching the home base. With a ball with a half-angled angle, the batter may be able to make a long hit by swinging a little earlier.
Let’s aim at the corner of the home base with the consciousness that “it is okay to become a ball, so go through the inside corner of the batter”.
At this time, if the standing position of the plate is moved to the first base side, it will be easier to throw an angled ball.
・ Suppress the opening of the body
When throwing an effective crossfire, it is also important to keep your body open. The more the ball is angled, the faster the body opens, the easier it is for the batter to see the source of the ball, and the more likely it is to be hit.
The key to effectively using the crossfire is to keep your body sideways until the last minute and make it difficult to see the source of the ball.
Also, if the body opens quickly, the release point (the position where the ball is released) will also be early, which may cause the ball to shoot and rotate or the control to be uncertain. There is a high risk of being hit by a long hit, such as a ball that has been shot and rotated will lose its power and will change to the center even if it is intended to be thrown into the internal angle.
Be aware of restraining the rotation of the shoulder on the side wearing the glove, which is the opposite of the dominant arm. In the case of left throw, if the front of the right shoulder can be seen from the catcher when the right foot lands, the body opens quickly.
If you don’t know for yourself, it’s a good idea to check with your teammates.
・ Throw a fast ball
Crossfires are not thrown by every pitcher. Since the ball is thrown at the internal angle of the batter, a half-finished ball with no rotation speed or ball power increases the risk of being hit by a long hit.
If you have poor control and can’t throw it to the target location, you may get a sweet hit in the middle and hit a long hit, or you may hit an opponent and become a dead ball.
In addition to being able to throw a fastball and a fastball, it is important to have control and courage to aim for the in-course.
Also, if you use too much crossfire, the tendency of the course will be revealed to the opponent team and the batter’s eyes will get used to it, and the effect will be diminished. For example, in baseball, it is sometimes said, “If you get lost, attack the outlaw (lower outside angle)”, but if you keep throwing only the outlaw, the opponent player should always aim.
It is also important to devise how to use it, such as using it in situations where you want to make sure to get out, using a crossfire as a show ball, and finally competing in the out course.
■ Let’s make the crossfire a powerful weapon
Crossfire is a pitching technique that allows you to use the strike zone to the left and right. It can be a very powerful weapon if you can master it, such as increasing the range of pitching and making it a mediocre hit with a powerful ball.
On the other hand, since it may lead to a dead ball or a long hit, accurate control, courage, and a powerful ball that can be thrown to the inside angle are indispensable. It is also said that the shoulders are more strained than the normal throwing method. It’s a good idea to start practicing within a reasonable range.
For players with throwing forms such as three-quarters and sidearms that are easy to angle, crossfire can be extremely powerful. If you want to increase the variation of pitching, why not try crossfire.