What Is A Balk?
A balk is a move by a pitcher that is illegal and results in the advancement of any runners on base. There are various ways to commit a balk, but the most common is to fake a pitch without actually throwing the ball. This is often done to deceive the batter or throw off the timing of the baserunners.
Other common balks include throwing to an unoccupied base, failing to come to a complete stop before delivering the pitch, and stepping out of the pitching mound without first checking with the catcher.
How To Avoid A Balk
When pitching, always remember to come to a complete stop before delivering the ball to the plate. If you don’t, it’s called a balk, and the runner is awarded first base. To avoid this, pause for a beat before continuing your delivery. This is important because if you don’t pause, it’s easy to lose your balance and not deliver the ball properly.
If you are in a situation where you need to pitch without pausing, remember to stay calm and focus on your target. It may be helpful to imagine a line running from the center of the plate to your glove hand. This will help you focus on the catcher’s mitt and prevent you from getting distracted by the runner on first base.
What Is A Pickoff Move?
A pickoff move is a pitching move in baseball used to prevent a baserunner from advancing. It is also sometimes used to catch a runner off guard so they can be tagged out. A pickoff move involves the pitcher throwing to a base to try and prevent the runner from stealing.
The pickoff move can also be used when there are runners on first and third base, and the pitcher wants to try to get one of them out. The most important part of a pickoff move is the element of surprise.
If the pitcher shows signs that they will throw to a base, the runner will often slow down or stop altogether, making it easier for the fielder to tag them out. As such, an important part of successfully executing a pickoff move is to keep the runner guessing until the last possible moment.