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The fastball (also called hummer and other names) is the most common type of pitch in Baseball. Some "power pitchers," like Nolan Ryan, Roger Clemens and Satchel Paige have thrown it at speeds of 95-104 mph (152.9-167.3 km/h) (officially) and up to 107.9 mph (173.6 km/h) (unofficially)[1], relying purely on speed to prevent the ball from being hit. Others throw more slowly but put movement on the ball or throw it on the outside of the plate where the batter cannot easily reach it. The appearance of a faster pitch to the batter can sometimes be achieved by minimizing the batter's vision of the ball before its release. The result is known as an "exploding fastball": a pitch that seems to arrive at the plate quickly despite its low velocity. Fastballs are usually thrown with backspin, so that the Magnus effect creates an upward force on the ball, causing it to fall less rapidly than might be expected. A pitch on which this effect is most marked is often called a "rising fastball", as the ball appears to rise to the batter. Colloquially, use of the fastball is called throwing heat or putting steam on it, among many other variants. Gripping the ball with the fingers across the wide part of the seam ("four-seam fastball") so that both the index finger and middle finger are touching two seams perpendicularly produces a straight pitch, gripping it across the narrow part ("two-seam fastball") so that both the index finger and middle finger are along a seam produces a sinking fastball, holding a four-seam fastball off-center ("cut fastball") imparts lateral movement to the fastball, and splitting the fingers along the seams ("split-finger fastball") produces a sinking action with a lateral break. *

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15y ago
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14y ago

The four seam fastball has a higher velocity, but normally tends to offer less movement that a two seamer. Four seam fastball usually clocks out, depending on the pitcher, in the upper 90's reaching low hundreds sometimes. Two seamers are usually in the lower 90's upper 80's with a trailing path.

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12y ago

Only a few mph. the big advantage is they tend to sink less at the plate. See forum below.

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Q: What is faster a 2 seam fastball or a 4 seam fastball?
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