This takes velocity off the ball and creates movement. It’s hard not to love the amount of movement on this fastball. The ball begins on the outer half of the plate and ends four seam vs two seam well inside, out of the strike zone. The wrist will not be as loose as on a four-seam fastball. Check out this two-seam fastball from Henderson Alvarez of the Miami Marlins.
The difficulty with this pitch isn’t from the pitch itself. In fact, most pitchers feel this grip gives them the most rotation – and most movement – of any breaking pitch. However, many pitchers who are learning this pitch for the first time, aren’t comfortable with the “tucking” part. It’s not super comfortable at first to tuck your index finger into the baseball. The straight curveball (or “overhand curveball”) is one of the most common breaking ball grips.
Too close together, and you’re throwing a weak slider. If you move your fingers slightly off-center, the ball should break a bit. The pitch is held by the pitcher placing his or her index finger and middle fingers in between the two seams that run vertically up the baseball.
If a pitcher places pressure on the index finger, the ball will run away from right-handed batters from a right-handed pitcher. If the pressure is placed on the middle finger, the ball will run away from left-handed batters. Just like the four seam fastball, you want all the pressure from your pitching hand going thru the index and middle fingers. There are so many differences between a 2 seam vs 4 seam fastball. The significant difference between the two is the motion each pitch provides. A 4 seam fastball follows a straight line; that’s why the pitcher is in more control, and a batter finds it harder to hit it.
The ball should rest up against the top ridge of the palm or at the base of the fingers. The pitcher, of course, is trying to destroy the hitter’s timing and take away his aggressiveness. There is little more first finger pressure as the fingers come over and down through the inside of the ball.
It does not require the snapping of the wrist or a twist of the arm. How do you grip a baseball for a four-seam fastball? Hold the ball so that the seams form what looks like a backward C – or a sideways horseshoe.
When throwing this pitch in the zone you will create weak contact and ground balls for your defense to field. Most good slider pitchers grip the outer-third of the baseball and cock their wrist slightly, but not stiffly, to their throwing hand’s thumb-side upon release of the pitch. This enables a pitcher to apply pressure to the outer-half of the ball with the index finger. The two-seam fastball appears to have more movement than a four-seam fastball, but can be more difficult to master and control. The amount of break on the pitch varies greatly from pitcher to pitcher depending on velocity, arm slot angle, and pressure points of the fingers. The two-seamer is a very natural pitch to throw, and is often taught to pitchers at a very early age.