Catching: Calling a Simple Game
Let’s face it - a good catcher makes a better pitcher. A good catcher, who knows how to call a good game, can make average and good pitchers, great pitchers.
Catchers have many characteristics that stand out from the way they catch and throw to the way they block and control the game as defensive leaders on the inner diamond. However, there is almost no greater characteristic a catcher can exhibit than his ability to call a good game. Hey, look around professional baseball. It is safe to say catching is one of the oldest positions by age. Those younger catchers may have the energy, physicality and overall skill that will jump out at most, but the older catcher is usually the wiser catcher and exhibits traits that go well beyond catch, throw, block and hit.
- So just where does the catcher become the primary source of information for the pitcher? It begins with every new count, 0-0. It is critical the catcher calls the pitch that the pitcher is throwing most consistently for strikes. The pitcher must start the hitter out by getting ahead in the count. The probability of the catcher calling for a fastball is usually about 70%.
- If the pitcher falls behind in the count, it is now up to the catcher to bring that ship back to a neutral count and that usually means staying with the pitcher's best pitch or the pitch that is most consistently in the strike zone.