There’s a trend among the Japanese catchers at the Little League World Series, and it’s one that I don’t completely understand.
Sometimes Japan’s catchers are instructed to set up off the plate to receive a pitch. I mean well off the plate. We’re talking like if the pitcher throws it to any part of the catcher’s body, it’s out of the zone and should be called a ball.
During an elimination game Thursday against Mexico, Japan’s catcher set up where a left-handed hitter would stand in the batter’s box (as seen above). The pitcher hit his target perfectly and was disappointed he didn’t get the call:
Sure, bro, that would be a strike … if your goal were to hit the batter.
I don’t understand why the coaches instruct their players to set up so far off the plate. Maybe it’s because the umpires are idiots and call pitches for strikes when they’re a foot off the plate. Or maybe their objective with a pitch is to try to get a player to chase. I just know I wouldn’t ever instruct my players to do that.