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The shuuto (シュート) or shootball is a pitch commonly thrown by several right-handed Japanese pitchers such as Hiroki Kuroda, Noboru Akiyama, Kenjiro Kawasaki, Daisuke Matsuzaka[1], Yu Darvish[2] and Masumi Kuwata[3]. The most renowned shuuto pitcher in history was Masaji Hiramatsu, whose famous pitch was dubbed the razor shuuto because it seemed to "cut the air" when thrown.



The pitch is mainly designed to break down in on right-handed batters, to prevent them from making solid contact with the ball. It can also be thrown to left-handers to keep them off balance. Good shuuto pitches often break the bats of right-handed hitters because they usually get jammed when trying to swing at this pitch. It could be said that the shuuto has a somewhat similar break and purpose as the screwball, even though the latter is also meant to be primarily thrown at right-handed batters. If the shuuto was thrown off the outside part of the plate, it would tail back over the outside border of the strike zone. Conversely, if it was thrown on the inside part of the plate, it would move even further inside.

The shuuto is often described in English as a reverse slider, but this is not strictly the case, as the shuuto generally has more velocity and less break than a slider. The two-seam fastball, the sinker, and the screwball, in differing degrees, will move down and in towards a right-handed batter when thrown, or in the opposite manner of a curveball and a slider.

The shuuto is often confused with the gyroball, perhaps because of a well-known article by Will Carroll[4] that erroneously equated the two pitches. Although Carroll later corrected himself, the confusion persists.

The shuuto is mentioned often in the movie Mr. Baseball. This is the type of pitch that Tom Selleck's character is continually unable to hit, even though he is a left-handed batter. The shuuto is described as "the great equalizer".

According to baseball analyst Mike Fast, the shuuto "can describe any pitch that tails to the pitcher's arm side, including the two-seam fastball, the circle change-up, the screwball, and the split-finger fastball".[5]


In the third edition of The Dickson Baseball Dictionary "shoot" is explained as follows.

Shoot 【noun / obsolete】

A kind of thoroughly changing pitching. It was a term used from the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century and it was called as a curve or a variant thereof because the sphere moved "in a certain direction" ("roughly").

Differences in Japan and the United StatesEdit

In Japan, many pitchers take a shot, but in Major League Baseball (MLB) as mentioned above the designation of "shoot" is not used in recent years, and uses the twist and sinkers as the same type of pitch change. Even if throwing a shoot, basically it is expressed as a twist or sinker, or a screwball and Yoshii Rihito also said that "Tsuamu" which he was throwing in the major era only called the shoot by changing its name. However, there is a scene where the Japanese pitcher Shoots off Jack Elliot, a slugger Jack Elliot, played by Tom Selleck. He moved from the New York Yankees to the Chunichi Dragons in the process of the 1992 American movie "Mr. Baseball". From that influence, the Japanese name's pronunciation in English as it is Shuuto (also with shoot ball) is sometimes used.

Also, in recent years there is an opinion that it is a little different from the tsuamu, like the American baseball critic Jason Parks. Due to the high strikeout rate, Darvish has, interest in Shuuto is increasing.

Throwing methodEdit

Example of a shooting grip
Example of a shooting grip

You can throw with the same grip as Tsushima Fast Ball and Tsushima Fast Ball. Depending on the pitcher, grasp the thumb as shown in the picture below.

Twisting the wrist/forearm extremely inward in the direction of inward rotation releases it, which places a heavy burden on the elbow, and can easily leads to injury. Kudo was naturally inwardly swung from the state where his forearm was outwardly rotated, releasing it with a push of the ball using the middle finger would not strain the elbow. Conversely, Hiramatsu did not put his fingers on the seams; for a moment the opening of the left shoulder was made earlier. In the baseball world, it is widely said that "Good pitchers of the curve slider have poor shots, good pitching pitchers have poor curves". This is thought to be due to the difference in hand shape and the difference in pitching form. Aoyama Noboru says, "In Japan 's history of baseball, both curves and shoots were top notches is about Takehiko Bessho."


There are cases in which the ball speed is fast and the change is large, and the shoots with good sharpness are called razor shoot or high speed shoot. Hisamfumi Kawamura, Ryutaro Imanishi, Akiyama Climbing, Hiramatsu's shoots are called razor shoots, Hiramatsu's shot demonstrated its power especially to the right batter. Shoots such as Morita Yukihi and Kobayashi Masahide are sometimes referred to as high-speed shoots because ball speeds exceeding 150  km/h have emerged.

Shoot rotationEdit

If the pitcher casts a straight ball, or if the release point shifts, the ball may have a rotation similar to the shoot, which is called shoot rotation or natural shoot. In the case of thinking as a ball, the shoot is an effective ball type, but in this case, it is a mistake of throwing a shot with the intention of throwing a straight ball. Unlike the intended shoot, the release point shifts and the rotation gently become loose, so there is no elongation as a straight ball, the lateral change as a shot is also small, and the control is often not fixed. Especially when a straight ball which is intended to be thrown aiming at a diagonal ( crossfire ) shoot rotates, it will head towards the center of the strike zone, so it may be easy for the batter to hit. In general, it is recognized that pitchers who do throw these balls are in a bad shape and the method is not stable, but some pitchers use this as a weapon. Teruhiro Kuroki says "put power in the middle finger" against the alternative "put power in the index finger" of other pitchers about the point when throwing the slider in "NANDA!?" inactive era I explained the reason, "It will be a shoot to the inner angle when the slider throwing in the outer corner slips out", while explaining the picture. There is no shot on the ball of Kuroki.


  1. ^ Jenkins, Lee (2007-02-22). "The Japanese Gyroball Mystery". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-02-18. 
  2. ^ Garik (27 April 2012). "Yu Darvish's Filthy "Shuuto" from Tuesday - What is this pitch?". SB Nation-PITCHFX. 
  3. ^ K, Fitts, Robert (2005). Remembering Japanese Baseball. SIU Press. ISBN 9780809389735. 
  4. ^ Rob Neyer Archived 2005-05-07 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Mike Fast (1 June 2010). "The shuuto". The Hardball Times.