Brushback pitch

From BR Bullpen

A brushback pitch is a pitch thrown close enough to the batter to intimidate him. A brushback pitch is different from a bean ball because some bean balls are actually intended to hit the batter, not just to scare him. Batters don't always make this distinction, resulting in the occasional bench-clearing brawl.

The brushback can be a valuable part of a pitcher's arsenal, as it can have two desirable effects on the batter:

  • It may make the batter back away from the plate, making it harder for him to hit an outside pitch
  • It may intimidate the batter, making him afraid of inside strikes

Refusing to be intimidated by the brushback is a critical trait for major league batters, as those who can be intimidated likely will be regular victims of brushback pitches.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Jerry Nechal: "Were Pitchers More Likely to Throw at Black Batters? 1947-66", Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Volume 51, Number 2 (Fall 2022), pp. 52-55.
  • Theo Tobel: "The Art of the Brushback", in Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Vol. 49, Nr. 2 (Fall 2020), pp. 41-46.