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Discussion: When to go backside

Posted Discussion
Jan. 22
Bruce M
Men's 55
123 posts
We all need to go backside from time to time. If we don't, the defense will figure you out and make the proper shift. So, when should you go backside if you are a left-handed hitter? Realize that when you do, you are hitting into the strongest part of the defense. Typically, we say you should hit "behind" the runner. So, if you have a runner on 1st with 1 out, you would go to the 3-4 hole to advance that runner and prevent a double play. Same thing with a runner on first and second. So, assuming you are being defended straight up with a 4 person outfield and less than two outs, when should a left handed batter go for the 1-6 or 5-6 hole? Thoughts?
Jan. 22
Rocky Mountain High

1 posts
I would say it really depends on how comfortable you are hitting backside, if you are not comfortable hitting backside work on it in BP to become comfortable. I myself do bat left handed and LOVE to hit backside all the time. What if you don't get the pitch to hit backside do you force it?
Do your best to put the ball on the green wherever it lands.
It's up to the hitter to keep the defense guessing where the ball is going.
Stay aggressive in these situations that way you can hit your pitch.
Hope this helps!
Jan. 22
Bruce M
Men's 55
123 posts
Granted, I agree with Alan Tanner. You need to hit to the quadrant that the pitcher gives you. I would not try to push a ball backside if the ball is coming on the inside of the plate. I would be looking for a ball down the center or ideally on the outside of the plate. A great pitcher will shift their people over to cover the 3-4 hole, pitch inside, and move over to cover the 1-4. Respectfully, not all pitchers can do that unless you are playing at the most elite levels.
Jan. 23

550 posts
IMOP: The more important the situation the more you should go with your best shot, the swing you are most comfortable and confident in. If I'm going to make an out in a crucial situation I want the defense to have to make it on my best swing. Of course this is being said by a stone pull hitter. One would think after playing with and against HOFer Stick8 (Mr.900) for over 30 years I'd be better at going backside! Sadly that's not the case.....
Jan. 23
Men's 75
606 posts
I've been taught to stay up in the box where my back shoulder is about 10" back from the front edge and my feet are on the outside box line. Slight bend of knees so you can step forward and lower your stance in order to swing level without dropping your hands. You're also set up to turn your back foot to get the outside or deep pitch to go opposite field. With two strikes you're looking middle and can just about use the same stance to cover that short pitch, but you have to feel comfortable to lower your stance. If you practice hitting the holes, use extra cones to show how far an average infielder can move to get to a grounder. This means your real hole is slightly smaller, but better game condition training. Maybe early in the game, you go opposite field to let the D know you can and it may open up the holes for you during other at bats.
Feb. 8
Bruce M
Men's 55
123 posts
So, given that the left-handed batter has the ability to hit to all parts of the field, and the defense is playing you straight up, here are my thoughts: If there are no runners on base, you could plan to hit the 5-6, 1-6 gaps. However, if there are runners on base, your primary goal is to advance them. So, you want to hit behind them. That means the 1-4 or 3-4 holes. If the defense closes the 3-4 hole with people on base, likely the pitcher is going to try to throw inside. Given that scenario, you would take that pitch if there are less than two strikes. You are looking for an outside pitch or a pitch down the middle, You could then take the 5-6, 1-6, or 1-4 gaps. If you miss and hit to 2B or SS, you are hitting into a double play. I'd be interested in your thoughts...
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