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The beautiful game of baseball is often compared to a match of chess between the pitcher and the batter. The pitcher on one team throws the ball with the intent of not allowing the batter on the other team to hit it, but with the ultimate goal of getting the batter “out” which means the batter does not get on base. If a pitcher does not make the correct strategical moves, things can go wrong in a heartbeat. A pitcher can make or break a teams chances of winning, nothing is more important than having a reliable pitcher on the mound at the right time. If one team makes the mistake of not bringing a pitcher into a game or removing them at the right time, one pitch can have devastating effects. Also, many games have been lost when the pitcher does not complete their role correctly. There are multiple types of pitchers that are used for in different situations. In the next couple pages I am going to classify each type of pitcher and explain their roles for their team.
One of the most important and influential pitching roles in baseball is the starter. The starter does exactly as its name, he starts pitching for his team at the very beginning of the game. I believe this is the hardest role for a pitcher because of the durability and endurance a pitcher needs to have, mentally and physically. A starter will ideally pitch the most amount of innings possible in a game and their performance is determined on a couple different statistics. A starting pitcher must complete five innings of work in order to qualify for a “win” in a game he starts. A “quality start” is achieved when the starter works six or more innings while giving up three or fewer earned runs. They can really set the tone for a game. If the starter is dominating the opposing team, it gives the offense a chance to gain a lead on the opposing team. If the starter is giving up a lot of hits and runs, it puts more pressure on the teams offense to maintain a close game. If a starter cannot endure a “complete game”, a pitcher must come on in relief for him.
There are a couple different types of relief pitcher. If the starter leaves the game early, a “long reliever” will take his place. Long relievers often will enter the game in the first three. This type of reliever is trained to take over the starters role and pitch multiple innings, ideally lasting deep into the game. Occasionally, a team’s long reliever is a former starter who has lost his effectiveness. Another use of a long reliever is usually in the late extra innings of a game that is tied. If a long reliever does not complete his role, he will be swapped out for the next type of reliever.
 This pitcher is known as a “middle relief pitcher”. They play the important role of maintaining a lead or if their team is losing, not allowing any other runs so the offense can gain a lead on the opposing team. A middle reliever enters the game most often when the starting pitcher or long reliever is replaced by a pinch hitter. This happens mainly in the National League where pitchers are obligated to be apart of a nine man offensive line up and become a batter themselves. In the American League, pitchers are replaced at bat by “designated hitters” and never have to become a batter. For the most part, pitchers are not a very good hitters. But in some rare cases, a pitcher can be a “two way player” and is able to hit and pitch in the same game and hopefully able to make an impact offensively. Over the years recently, relief pitchers have been becoming more and more important to a team’s success. Players who are more successful, usually get promoted to later inning roles. This is when pitching changes made by the manager of a team are most crucial and will have the biggest pay off, or the most devastating effects.
Another situation that a new pitcher would be brought in is if the batter who is on deck has the same handedness as the pitcher, A pitcher usually has an advantage on a batter when his handedness is the same as the batter’s, and the batter has an advantage when they are the opposite. This is due to the fact that a right-handed pitcher’s curveball breaks to the left, which would break away from the batter with the same handedness and vice versa for a left-handed pitcher. If you are a left-handed pitcher and not a starter or a long reliever, chances are you will become a role player on the relief squad as a “left-handed specialist”. These pitchers specialize in pitching to left-handed batters,

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