An under-discussed difficulty of hitting Major League pitching is getting the timing down. But, by timing, I don’t mean the velocity of the offerings, but rather the amount of time it takes for someone to deliver a pitch.
Cubs reliever Pedro Strop, for example, frequently varies his time between offerings in an attempt to catch the batter off guard (quick pitch) or force him to lose concentration (long time between pitches, after coming set).
This strategy isn’t anything new and pitchers have been doing it for years, because the logic is pretty simple and the results tend to work. That said, I haven’t seen anything like the delivery that Braves rookie John Gant uses.
Check it out:
He just keeps going and going.
Even after re-watching this video – again and again – I guess incorrectly on which leg kick will actually result in a delivery. And, if you’re anything like me, you’re confused as to why it’s not a balk. But, if you listen to the announcers, the consistency in his approach is why there’s no infraction.
I gotta say, effective as it may be, it sure makes me feel like Manager George Knox from Angels in the Outfield: