How To Throw A Eephus
By Steven Ellis, former Chicago Cubs pitching pro
Every pitcher is always looking for that tricky pitch that can give them an edge on the hitter. The eephus pitch could very well be that next pitch you want to learn. Essentially, an eephus is a very slow, very high arcing pitch that will drop down right through the strike zone, throwing the hitter's timing off.
You grip the eephus like you would a four seam fastball. Your index and middle fingers should go across the horseshoe of the baseball, with your thumb directly underneath. When you release the ball, you want to snap your wrist down to generate backspin.
When throwing the eephus, it is important to get a high arc on the ball. This high arc will catch the batter off guard and help to mess up his timing. When throwing the eephus, it is important to keep all of your mechanics the same as normal until just before the release point. When you release the pitch, throw it at a high angle with a slow velocity. It should have just enough velocity to make it to home plate. Imaging trying to shoot the baseball like a basketball into a wastebasket on home plate.
The eephus is very tricky pitch to hit, but even more tricky to throw effectively. It can take a lot of practice to get the right angle and velocity, so make sure to throw it during bullpen sessions and warm ups.
The best time to throw an eephus is when there are two strikes on a hitter. In this count, the hitter is more anxious to swing, so he might chase after the eephus, giving you a strike out.
If you are having trouble learning the eephus pitch, stop by the Let's Talk Pitching discussion forums for some advice!
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