The Physics of Baseball Pitching

Baseball is superior to other sports. It is the best past time for America. Activity which are physical have some of the physics behind it. Baseball pitching has one too such as the pressure, the grip and the release of the ball. Primarily known pitch is the fastball. A famous direct one, which is usually used by most pitchers, is a 4 seam fastball where the fingers are placed across 4 seams. For this, the pitcher imparts backspin on the ball upon release.

The ball does not drop as much as it would. Otherwise, it will appear to fight gravity and travel in more of a straight line. In this technique, the pitcher is taking advantage of the Magnus effect. This is when a spinning sphere affects the air pressure around it. As a result, the side of the ball spinning with the direction of travel is moving against the air faster. Allowing to create more pressure and more drag. Even causing the air to push on it.

Meanwhile, air pressure is reduced and the ball travels more easily in that direction, in the opposite side of the ball. Curve balls too take advantage of the Magnus effect. However, this does not stabilize the flight into a straight line, instead, the top spin causes it to drop and cut. More possibilities like sliders, sinkers, screwballs, etc will be opened up from different grips and releases. Above all, they do the same thing – causing the seams to push air around and change the pressure on the ball.