Welcome to the fourth episode in my series, The Show Training 101, where we’ll take an in-depth look at various mechanics and control schemes, analyze how they’re implemented in MLB 15 The Show, and explore the ways in which you can leverage your newfound knowledge to take your game to the next level.

Today, we’ll be taking a look at pulse pitching. So what exactly is pulse pitching? Well, it’s a simple timing based mechanic that allows the user to control the accuracy of the pitch. After selecting your pitch, a circle surrounding the pitch marker will start pulsating, after which you can move that pitch marker to your desired location with the left stick. Your goal here? Press the X button as the pitching ring contracts to its smallest possible size. The smaller the cursor, the more accurate the pitch will be. The larger the cursor; the less accurate you’ll be. Easy enough.

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Now there are multiple variables that influence the speed of the pulsing, as well as the outer and inner limits of the pitch ring. The pitching difficulty level along with the type of pitch selected governs the general speed and size of the pitch cursor. Additionally, a fastball is the easiest pitch to control, and as such, the pitch cursor is correspondingly slower and smaller, allowing the user to more easily time the mechanic. The smaller meter provides greater accuracy via contracted outer and inner limits of the pulse, which effectively decreases the range of possible pitch location results. Conversely, a breaking pitch is more difficult to control, and is correspondingly represented by an increase to pulse size and speed. Now remember, with pulse pitching, you only control the accuracy of the pitch. The velocity, break, and effectiveness of the pitch is a product of player ratings.

OK. So now that we have a better understanding of the mechanic, a new question is raised. That is, how do we best control the accuracy of the pitch? Or rather, how can we master the timing of the mechanic to ensure greater precision when on the mound? Many members of The Show community have expressed difficulty executing the pulse pitching mechanic consistently. When attempting to pitch as the cursor is at its smallest point, most find that their reflexes aren’t quite quick enough on the draw, and by the time their thumb makes contact with the controller, the cursor has already expanded. The result; an extremely inaccurate pitch. This problem stems from our inherent inability to react quickly enough to a fast-moving target, especially on higher difficulty levels. We first see the pitch cursor contract to its smallest point, and then our brain tells us to throw the pitch, at which point the pulse is expanding once again. Timing the mechanic won’t work well. It’s EXTREMELY difficult. Instead, to master the mechanic, we must BECOME the mechanic. Yes, I know how that sounds. But bare with me.