THE PHYSICS OF BASEBALL PITCHES – ft. DodgerFilms Crew


Hey I’m…”small socks, that was my next
pick” and since I started playing softball with the crew over at Dodgerfilms, I naturally
started to get more interested in baseball. Oh dude it hit that due in the hand. More specifically, how different pitches affected
the trajectory of a baseball. As it turns out, a lot of people know that
the spin of the ball affects the trajectory, but not a lot of people know why. So i recruited my buddy fireball here, fire
can you help me understand, how does the ball curve. It mainly has to do with the finger position
how you throw the ball and usually. Its the fingers and how you deliver it. So for a curve ball you kind go like this
and the ball… The way a baseball pitcher held the ball was
different for each throw. They didn’t simply hold the ball firmly
in their hand. There was a philosophy to each throw. So let’s break down the physics of a baseball
and really try and understand it’s design and characteristics. There are three axis a ball can spin on. The x, y, and z. A topspin is when the ball rolls forward on
the x axis. A backspin is when the ball rolls backwards
on the x axis. These two spins are important because the
go in the direction and against the direction the ball is moving. Professional baseballs are a lot smoother
than the ones you’ll see on your local little league field. The seams are more flush with the surface
as to not give the professional pitchers an advantage. As it would turn out, a rough ball has more
drag. Drag is the force on an object as it travels
through the air that slows it down. It’s essentially air resistance. As air collides with a rough ball, including
the seams, it catches on all of the bumps and imperfections, slowing it down. This is where the spin of the ball comes into
play. One side of the ball is spinning in the same
direction as the air and on the other it’s spinning against it. This causes the air around the ball to have
different velocities. Bernoulli’s equation simply shows that a fluid,
in this case air, that has a slower velocity has a higher pressure and a fluid with a higher
velocity has a lower pressure. This causes the ball to have a pressure differential
between the top and the bottom. It’s pretty clear how every other throw
can be created now. It’s just a variation of forward and backwards
spins combined with spins in the y and z direction. Something that’s kind of cool about this
is that you can throw a ball farther if you know how to get the spin of the ball right. Imagine you had a pitching machine that you
could control the speed on. No matter how fast the ball is traveling parallel
to the ground, every ball pitched from the machine will hit the ground in the same amount
of time assuming the ball had no spin. That’s because the velocity in the y direction
for a perfect throw is zero and the gravity is acting on every pitch the same way. But backspin helps fight the force of gravity
because there is a slight pressure difference on the ball resulting in a slight force on
the ball upwards. That backspin is just enough to help keep
the ball flying straighter for a longer distance than just a regular old throw. But speaking of a regular old throw, we know
what happens when a ball is spinning in the air, but what about the pitch that has little
to no spin. That is called the knuckle ball and it’s a
devastating pitch that seasoned veterans believe to be such a cheap trick that they don’t
even promote it to newer pitchers in some instances. So what’s going on, why is a knuckle ball
so hard to hit? You would assume that a ball with no spin
would fly pretty straight right? Kind of. What you’re seeing is chaotic fluid dynamics
in play and yes air is a fluid. Basically all of the abrasions, cuts, and
stitches on the ball does impart some resistance in a slightly uneven fashion. It’s so subtle that when the ball does slightly
change trajectory air resistance can change subtly causing it to veer into another trajectory. When all of these subtle, chaotic pressures
come together you wind up with a ball that wiggles unpredictably in the air causing even
the best batters to swing aimlessly. But anyways, that was just a quick look at
the physics of a baseball pitch. If you have any suggestions for future videos,
be sure to leave them in the comments down below and check out Fireball Jimmy’s channel
for more baseball videos as well as dodgerfilms, the link to his channel is down in the description. Anyways guys that was just a quick look at
baseball, this has been mike for spacepak and, thanks for watching!

67 thoughts on “THE PHYSICS OF BASEBALL PITCHES – ft. DodgerFilms Crew

  1. Yessss! I love the softball series and awesome seeing fireball. Love the video Mike and keep up the great work. You should do a video about racers and their reaction time or something else related to sports.

  2. That force is called the magnus effect. On a curveball (12-6) the magnus effect ( higher air pressure) is directly above the ball. This pushed the ball down as it travels to home. That's how the curveball gets its curve.

  3. You should do a similar one, but on a cricket ball. Because of a single, straight seem, there are other ways to get the Magnus effect, besides ball spin. Keeping one side shinier than the other side is another and bowling the ball with an upright, angled seem is another. That's 3 sources of swing!

  4. How bout the science of airsoft bb's/guns and how weight, size, Fps, and hop up affects the accuracy and distance of the projectile

  5. I think it would be awesome if you made a vid about the difference in metal bats and different wood bats? And why each and every go further

  6. Small socks, I was amazed by how you hit your first homerun with the Didgerfilms Crew. Im looking forward to seeing you play more softball with them.

  7. You are promoting the myth that a smooth ball has less friction. That is not true. If it were true a golf ball wouldn't have dimples. A spinning object creates an atmosphere that it carries with it and the roughness helps hold that atmosphere. Study the evolution of the golf ball, it applies to baseball as well.

  8. Fascinating. Interesting to compare with the behaviour of a cricket ball. Does the weather/atmospheric conditions make a difference to the way the baseball moves?

  9. Ridiculous information. These breaking throws break bone, muscle, tendon and joint coverings throughout an ignorant, uneducated child thinking they have their USFTC Safety Protections to keep them from lifelong durability which they do not.

  10. That's your idea of a simple explanation? Read Strunk and White's the Elements of Style before making another video.

  11. Now im not quite a phd physicist yet, but this is the best REAL PHYSICS explaination of the movement of a basebase on youtube.

  12. Great beginner lesson for hurlers looking to expand their pitching repertoire!

  13. Ur fucking stupid buddy you don't even know the difference between topspin and backspin you labelled them opposite

  14. It takes a while for the flow to fully develop. The initial flow is called starting flow and it is as if there is zero viscosity. This may be the cause of some of the ball's changes after leaving the pitcher's grasp.

  15. I don't suppose you know of any vids showing a baseball pitch, in the air, in high fps. Focused on the ball itself, showing how it moves thru the air in relation to its spin.

  16. “A rough ball has more drag”. This is incorrect. Rough spheres encounter less drag than smooth spheres. The flow past a rough sphere is turbulent. The flow past a smooth sphere is laminar. Turbulent flow has less drag than laminar flow. This is why golf balls have dimples. The dimples decrease drag and the ball goes farther.

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