Thursday, July 17, 2008

Baseball Physics: Deception and Battered Expectations

Baseball Physics: Deception and Battered Expectationsl | LiveScience: "On fields of dreams, the duel between the batter and the pitcher at times assumes aspects of humiliation and farce. And never more so than when a batter misses a pitch, swinging so forcefully as to nearly sprain something. The culprit in such cases is usually either a rising fastball or a so-called drop curveball.

From the batter's perspective, a rising fastball follows a normal trajectory until it is quite close to home plate, at which point it seems to jump several inches, as if lifted by some mysterious force. A drop curveball, on the other hand, appears to drop straight down right in front of the plate, from twelve o'clock to six o'clock—hence its other name, '12-to-6 curveball.'"