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In baseball, a "quick pitch" is an attempt by a pitcher to throw off the batter's timing by throwing a pitch sooner than the batter expected. In this regard, it is the opposite of the hesitation pitch, although attempting to achieve a similar result.

Like the hesitation pitch, the quick pitch is illegal in baseball at all levels. The quick pitch is especially dangerous, because if the batter is not expecting a pitch, he could be hit by the pitched ball, leading to serious injury.

If the umpire judges that the batter did not have an appropriate amount of time to get set, he may call an illegal quick pitch under Major League Baseball Rule 8.05(e). If there are any runners on base, this results in a balk, and any runners are awarded an extra base. If there are no runners on base, a ball is added to the count, possibly resulting in a walk.

However, if the batter had enough time to get set in the batter's box, Major League umpires often allow a certain amount of quick pitchery, and you sometimes see pitchers using abbreviated windups to quick pitch a batter without getting called for it.

Back to Glossary of Baseball Pitches


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