Similar to a curveball in baseball, the slurve is a type of pitch that a lot of pitchers will likely want to have in their repertoire. The slurve is a break away ball, meaning that it curves away from a right-handed batter. It will also break down slightly, this is the slider part of the pitch. This guide will go into some detail about how you can throw a slurve ball, and all of the mechanics of how it works.
Why is it called a slurve?
The word ‘slurve’ is a mix between slider and curve. A curveball is a commonly played pitch in which the ball will simply curve away from the batter if they happen to be right-handed, and towards a batter if they are left-handed. A slider is a ball that will break towards the ground or plate where the batter is standing.
Both the curveball and the slider are designed to confuse the batter and cause them to miss the ball causing a strike. It follows then, that the slurve is a mix of both the curveball and the slider. This means that the ball will break both towards the batter (or away if the batter is a lefty), and towards the ground.
How should I grip the ball for a slurve?
This is one of the most important things when it comes to throwing a slurve. If you can perfect the grip of a slurve, then you are probably halfway there to throwing one well. Here is a step by step of how to get the correct grip on the ball to throw a slurve:
- Place your middle finger between two of the horseshoe stitches, or the area of the ball where the material between the stitches becomes skinnier.
- The place your middle finger to the right (or left if you are left-handed) slightly so that your fingertip is in the next section of material, or past the stitch of the previous section.
- Your thumb should then be directly opposite to your middle finger for stability.
- The rest of your fingers can be curled under towards your palm slightly, and you can rest the ball on your ring finger.
Once you have this grip perfected, you can move onto the next step of throwing a slurveball.
Setting up for a slurve throw
After the grip is comfortable for your hand, you can begin to resume your typical throwing stance. Once you get to the point of moving your arm back and throwing, follow these steps for a slurve ball:
- When you bring your arm through to make the throw, rotate your elbow so that your hand ends up facing away from your body. This will add a spin on the ball that makes it half a curveball.
- There is also the great option of snapping your wrist. This can be added to the throw when you are more confident in your pitching abilities if you prefer. This is the part of the slurve that will make it resemble a slider, since it will make the ball break towards the plate more.
The extent to which you use either of these methods is up to you, and actually the differences you choose to make will produce a unique slurve pitch to you. This also means that a batter will never be completely sure where a ball is likely to be pitched.
Is it a good idea to throw a slurve?
Although it can be one of the riskier pitches if you are not used to throwing them, a slurve is a great option to confuse a batter. An even more deceptive option is to hide your hand when you are setting up the grip for the pitch. If a batter cannot see the way that you are gripping the ball prior to throwing it, they are less likely to be able to predict where it will end up, thus being less likely to hit it.
How do I get better at a slurve?
The most obvious answer is to keep practicing. You can practice on your own since you are simply pitching and do not necessarily need any other players to practice. You can also practice with player on your team if they are available. It is always a good idea to practice new tricks and ideas with other people since they might be able to help you and give you some tips.
But essentially, practice makes perfect, and you will only get really good at something in baseball if your body is used to the motions that are required of a certain movement, in this case a pitch.