How weather affects baseball pitchers - KMSP-TV

How weather affects baseball pitchers

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Pitchers have a hard job. They've got to throw the ball in the perfect spot, and if they miss...

Sometimes, they'll sneak in a little extra help. Pine tar, sandpaper, or the old school spit ball are all ways pitchers could try to cheat.  But they don't have to, as long as they're paying attention to the forecast.

As we discussed, humid air is actually lighter than dry air. But unlike last night's hitting segment, the humid, less dense air can work against a pitcher.When a pitcher throws a curveball he is relying on torque to make the ball spin. When the air is less dense (ie lighter) there is less drag on the ball and it doesn't spin as much.

A simpler way to say it: on a hot, humid day your breaking pitches don't break as well.

On July 6, the Tigers played the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday Night Baseball. Rick Porcello, who is a ground ball pitcher who relies on his breaking stuff, was on the mound. In the first inning, he gave up 5 hits including a three-run bomb to Matt Joyce. Porcello left the game after giving up 7 runs and 11 hits. The dew points were near 65 degrees (trust me, that's muggy).



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