- Sinker (baseball)
baseball, a sinker is a type of fastballpitch which has significant downward movement. The sinker is known for inducing a lot of ground balls.cite web |title=In Search of the Sinker |work=The Hardball Times |author=John Walsh |url=http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/in-search-of-the-sinker/] Pitchers who use the sinker tend to rely on it heavily and do not need to change pitch speeds as much as other pitchers do because the sinking action induces weak bat contact. Other pitchers normally change pitch speeds to achieve this effect.cite web |title=That Sinking Feeling |work=Baseball Analysts |author=Joe P. Sheehan |url=http://baseballanalysts.com/archives/2007/04/a_sinking_feeli.php]
Before the 1950s, pitchers did not know what caused their pitches to sink or "hop." They regarded either ability as a "gift from heaven."
Bill Jamescites Curt Simmonsas the first pitcher to be able to throw both sinkers and rising fastballs, apparently indicating that it was now known how to make a pitch sink and how to make one hop. Brandon Webb, Jake Westbrook, Derek Lowe, Fausto Carmona, Aaron Cook, Chien-Ming Wang, Mike Pelfrey, Roy Halladayand Zach Minerare current major league players who rely heavily on the sinker. Webb and Halladay's sinkers are especially devastating, and both are considered two of the best in baseball history. Chien-Ming Wang's sinker is reported to feel like hitting a weighted baseball.
One method of throwing the sinker is to simply grip the baseball along the two seams and throw it similar to a fastball. Some pitchers use a downward motion on their wrist when throwing it. This causes a sharper sink, but also has a greater risk of a wild pitch. However, the sinker ball pitchers may also turn the ball over just before releasing the ball, slightly increasing the pressure on the ball with the index finger.
Effects on the batter
The sinker drops 5 to 10 inches more than a typical fastball which causes batters to hit
ground balls more often than other breaking balls. Horizontal movement also occurs when sinkers are thrown.
Roy Halladay Brandon Webb Tim Hudson Chien-Ming Wang Derek Lowe Joe Smith Orel Hershiser Aaron Cook Fausto Carmona Jake Westbrook Jason Marquis Carlos Zambrano Mike Timlin Wally Bunker Mike Pelfrey Kyle Kendrick Brandon League
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