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How DO you hit Wakefield?


Jagwar

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Step way up in the batters box and try to hit it before it breaks.

I don't think it works like that. A curve really follows one big arc, and a lot of what's hard about it is the optical illusion part. So, depending on the exact arc of the curve, maybe you can step up before it does too much of it's downward arc. But a knuckleball doesn't follow an arc in the same way. Rather, the lack of spin on it means that the air flowing over the threads makes it zig this way, then that way, so it flutters. Nobody knows which way it's gonna flutter or when (which is why Paul Richards invented the now-banned huge C-mitt for Hoyt Wilhelm when he was here, and is why Varitek makes the other guy catch Wakefield). Stepping forward might save a flutter, but it's not gonna get you to a place that's "before it breaks" because it doesn't have a break like a curveball does.

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I don't think it works like that. A curve really follows one big arc, and a lot of what's hard about it is the optical illusion part. So, depending on the exact arc of the curve, maybe you can step up before it does too much of it's downward arc. But a knuckleball doesn't follow an arc in the same way. Rather, the lack of spin on it means that the air flowing over the threads makes it zig this way, then that way, so it flutters. Nobody knows which way it's gonna flutter or when (which is why Paul Richards invented the now-banned huge C-mitt for Hoyt Wilhelm when he was here, and is why Varitek makes the other guy catch Wakefield). Stepping forward might save a flutter, but it's not gonna get you to a place that's "before it breaks" because it doesn't have a break like a curveball does.

Break or not high knucleballs seem easier to hit than low ones. At least IMPE taking batting practice against two guys that could throw them with almost no spin. Just based on the fact that with the high ones you have more of the face of the bat on the same plane with the ball.

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