As you know, the windup is the longer, slower delivery generally used with the bases empty. The stretch is the quicker delivery used when a pitcher has to worry about controlling the running game. By default, most pitchers learn to have two throwing motions.
Pitching from the stretch position prevents runners from stealing during the delivery of the pitch. Pitchers will pitch from the stretch when there are runners on base or when they are more comfortable pitching from the stretch. So there are, in fact, some advantages to pitching from the stretch.
Some relievers will pitch out of the stretch whether or not there is a runner on base. This is because they often come in with runners on base and their rhythm is to pitch out of the stretch. As for the stretch, it is used to deter the other teams runners from stealing a base.
There are, however, several good reasons for making kids learn the stretch and use it exclusively before they move on to the windup. First, the stretch is more versatile than the windup. You can always pitch out of the stretch with or without a base runner.
With runners on base, the pitcher must be wary of any movement that could be construed as a balk. So, can a pitcher waggle his glove in an attempt to get the catcher to roll through the signs? Yes.
The stretch is used when there are base runners on first or second base. Since the pitching motion takes less time, it gives the runners less time to steal bases. Some pitchers like to use the stretch all the time regardless of the base runners. Another name for the stretch is the “set” position.
A lot of coaches will opt for teaching young pitchers to pitch exclusively from the stretch because they think it’s easier to learn and makes it less complicated for the young pitcher. See, there’s nothing really wrong with pitching entirely from the stretch – but let me qualify that.
Pitchers are permitted to use two legal pitching deliveries – the windup position and the set position – and either position may be used at any time. A pitcher is considered to be in the windup position when he puts his pivot foot on the pitching rubber and has both shoulders facing the batter to some degree.
From the Windup Position, the pitcher may: (1) deliver the ball to the batter, or (2) step and throw to a base in an attempt to pick-off a runner, or (3) disengage the rubber (if he does he must drop his hand to his sides).
The back foot must stay in contact with the rubber and may not be repositioned. While in the stretch position the pitcher can legally: Pitch. Step and throw to a base.
He usually only pitches one inning, the last inning, and only if his team is in the lead. This is to preserve his strength and energy; managers don’t want their closers tiring themselves out on a game the team might lose, when it is better strategy to use the closer to solidify a probable win.
The seventh inning stretch is a time-honored baseball custom in which the fans ritualistically stand and stretch before their team comes to bat in the seventh inning.
There are two legal pitching positions, the Windup Position and the Set Position, and either position may be used at any time. Pitchers shall take signs from the catcher while in contact with the pitcher’s plate. Rule 5.07(a) Comment (Rule 8.01 Comment):
According to Rule 8.01 (f) of the official Major League Baseball rules, a pitcher must declare which hand he’ll use at the outset of an at-bat. This can be done simply by wearing his glove on his non-throwing hand while touching the pitching rubber.
Slang. a term of imprisonment: He’s doing a stretch in the pen.
“Down the stretch”. Would be the last part of a game, season, race, etc. I think it comes from horse racing when the horses are nearing the finish line.
sports Near, towards, or at the end of a game or athletic season. The rookie has been an impressive standout for the team so far, so she could end up being one of their star players down the stretch. The quarterback kept his nerve down the stretch, leading his team to a come-from-behind victory.
EXCELLENT = 1.6 seconds or less. GOOD = 1.8 seconds. AVERAGE COLLEGE = 1.9 to 2.1 seconds. AVERAGE HIGH SCHOOL = 2.3 seconds.
With a runner or runners on base, a pitcher will be presumed to be pitching from the set/stretch if he stands with his pivot foot in contact with and parallel to the pitcher’s plate and his other foot in front of the pitcher’s plate.
An illegal pitch may be quick pitch (i.e. a pitch made before the batter is properly set in the batter’s box), a pitch made while the pitcher is not in contact with the pitching rubber, or one in which he takes an extra step while making his delivery.
Rule #5: You must come set and fully pause in the stretch position. This rule is subject to a little interpretation – the pitcher, when he comes set, must pause for at least one second before delivering the pitch. The pitcher is not allowed to simply “roll through” coming set.