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June 1, 2013

Prospectus Q&A

Russell Martin and Ryan Hanigan

by Ben Lindbergh


A few weeks ago, I wrote a feature on framing for Grantland. I also spoke to Pirates catcher Russell Martin and Reds catcher Ryan Hanigan for a pair of Q&A companion pieces in which I showed the two catchers GIFs of borderline pitches that they'd caught over the past few years, and they explained their strategy for getting extra strikes. Martin's is here, and Hanigan's is here. The conversations ran so long that much of the text was left on the editing room floor. Rather than let it remain unread, I've collected the best previously unpublished excerpts below, omitting any material that appeared at Grantland.

Russell Martin

BL: It seems like you show the target for a second and then put your glove back down before the pitch.

RM: To relax, yeah. I’m trying to get underneath the strike zone to where, when I do catch it, I can kind of bring it back up. Because if I give the target and leave the target here, and then the ball is down, if I go down to catch it, it looks like a ball. If I’m giving a target at the bottom of the zone, and I leave it there and I go down, it looks like a ball. If I give the target, relax my glove, come back and catch it up, it just gives the illusion of a strike.

 

May 1, 2012: Rafael Soriano pitching to Wilson Betemit. 0-0 count, 82-mph slider. Home plate umpire: Bob Davidson.

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