Manual The Science of the Fastball

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  2. 'Fastball': The documentary could win over audiences who aren't baseball fans
  3. Physics can explain the fastball’s unexpected twist, new study finds | Ars Technica
  4. How the Human Brain Tracks a 100-mph Fastball

Layer one operates the same whether the ball is a baseball or a softball: Pujols tracks the ball, calculates its speed and direction, and predicts where and when it will cross the plate.

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All of this relies on just ms of observation time. The power of layer two is that it can access a much longer duration of time. If 90 of the last pitches that looked similar were traveling with a particular speed and direction, then he can draw on that distant past to give layer one a head start. Layer two gives him the early answer to feed directly into layer one. Finch traveled around to face some of the best hitters in the world, putting their vaunted superhuman reactions to the test.

That is, until someone tapped into layer three.

'Fastball': The documentary could win over audiences who aren't baseball fans

In baseball, a hitter gets three strikes. Finch would throw the first two balls fast. Every time it was a swing and a miss. But on the third pitch, Finch always threw a slow ball. A slow ball, or changeup, is designed to use the second layer against the hitter. The changeup starts out looking similar to the other balls, so layer two jumps ahead and decides that it must also be going the same speed. And even though this slower speed gives layer one more observation time to make a better decision, layer two screws everything up.

The hitter thinks the ball is going faster than it is, reacts as fast as he can, and hits nothing but air, well before the pitch ever nears the plate. Using layer two against the hitter relies on the hitter not knowing that the pitcher is throwing a changeup.

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But if layer three can be used to recognize the pattern, then it augments layer two. A perfect example of this is Scott Spiezio, another baseball player who faced Finch during her tour of the Major Leagues.

Physics can explain the fastball’s unexpected twist, new study finds | Ars Technica

Unlike Pujols, he was not a superstar, batting only. However, he had studied Finch and used layer three to recognize her pattern. If a baseball hitter had to only rely on his reaction time, then he would never hit a mph fastball. His reactions are simply too slow. However, by leveraging trajectory extrapolation, snap judgment, and pattern recognition, the hitter gains precious extra milliseconds that allow him to send home runs sailing hundreds of feet into the crowd.

Review: The Science of Fastball by William Blewett

The best hitters spend hours watching thousands of pitches. With each pitch, the different layers in their brains get just a bit better. This is a fantastic post, the visual cortex will need to be activated to follow the trajectory, but how much of the movement of a professional player is intentional?

Can a movement bypass intention with time and practice? Like Like.

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Thank you! Intention is a very hard concept to pin down, but in my amateur baseball experience I would say that the movement is trained and intentional. By trained I mean that it is definitely possible to create visuomotor responses that minimize the decision time between the visual cortex and the motor cortex, say ducking your head when a ball is flying at your face.

How the Human Brain Tracks a 100-mph Fastball

And by intentional I mean that if the pitch is a ball, the player can still choose not to swing. You are right, being trained the details of the movement are almost unconscious, you do not need to think about the correct tension in the wrist, the way your weight has to shift from one leg to the other, the extent of the torso rotation, so the movement can be very fast.

It is not like a reflex or rhythmic movement. In my opinion, the training can lead to better defined area in the motor cortex and in some other areas of the brain, related to kinaesthetic memory. So the fastest pitch in MLB history comes in at He is giving Randy Johnson a run for his money. Labels baseball Force and Motion sports. Labels: baseball Force and Motion sports. Buzz May 21, at PM. Alicia June 29, at AM. September 10, The answer is "a bad week for the casino"—but you'd never guess why. Read more. June 13, Our science teacher claims that the pain comes from a small electrical shock, but we believe that this is due to the absorption of light.

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