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Working the vertical plane is something that is highly effective. If a pitcher, with good command, is consistently locating low then it opens the door for a strikeout up in the zone. He can manage to rack up a high number of strikeouts relying on his fastball as his primary strikeout pitch. Working the vertical plane consistently focuses a hitter’s attention low in the zone setting him up for a pitch up that he perceives good to hit.
-Why work the vertical plane?
-Pitching the corners is a hard thing to do. When a pitcher is trying to locate a pitch inside or outside it is often putting the result of the pitch in the umpire’s hands. This is because a pitch located either inside or outside will often force the batter not to swing because of the fact that the pitch does not look good to hit. In contrast, with working the vertical plane the hitters will often want to swing at a chest high fastball because of the fact that it looks so good to hit. Many hitters will not swing at a ball inside because of the fact that they can’t get their barrel around in time. Pitching inside also runs the risk of hitting the batter. The same goes for outside, many hitters will not swing at a ball outside because of the fact that the ball feels far away from them. If a pitcher is trying to locate inside and outside and is not getting the calls from the umpire or is just flat out missing the spots, then walks happen.
Make a hitter earn it. Pressure of a game scenario, the higher speed of the pitch (In game adrenaline), the uncertainty of what pitch is coming, the uncertainty of the location of where the pitch is going to be, the 7 fielders a pitcher has behind him, the odds are in the pitcher’s favor.
Hall of famers fail 7 out of 10 times. CHALLENGE HITTERS
Now this isn’t meant to tell you to never pitch the corners. This is just saying that if a pitcher works the vertical plane he will walk less people because the hitters are wanting to swing.