Home Keeping scoreGreat Britain Baseball Scorers AssociationYou Are the Scorer You Are the Scorer: Number 25

You Are the Scorer: Number 25

by Joe Gray


Scenario: A batter has a count of two balls and two strikes.

In which of the following circumstances would a strike-out be awarded?

A – Batter bunts the next pitch and the ball drops and stays in foul territory.
B – Batter bunts the next pitch and the ball is caught as a foul-tip by the catcher.
C – Batter bunts the next pitch foul, with the ball popping up several metres and being caught by the catcher.
D – A and B.
E - A and C.
F - B and C.
G – A, B, and C.

Highlight the text below to reveal the answer:

D – A and B.

Rule 10.15(a)(4) states:
[The official scorer shall score a strikeout whenever a batter] bunts foul on third strike, unless such bunt on third strike results in a foul fly caught by any fielder, in which case the official scorer shall not score a strikeout and shall credit the fielder who catches such foul fly with a putout.

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Joe Cooter April 24, 2009 - 12:46 pm

This is the reason why only pitchers are allowed to bunt with two strikes. Most managers will have the batter hit away after there are two strike because a strike out leaves the runner at first base.

Ryan April 24, 2009 - 1:39 pm

What difference would it make as to what the position is of the person at the plate as to how it is scored?

Joe Gray April 25, 2009 - 10:33 am

Hi Ryan,

I’m not entirely certain what you mean by the question? What sort of differences in position did you have in mind?



CJ April 26, 2009 - 12:15 am

Sorry to hijack a thread again with a different question but I was watching a game and talking about how to score this with friends and you are the man to answer my question!

Happened in Yankees – Sox game. Ortiz is up with bases loaded. There is 1 out. He flies out to right and the runner on 3 comes in to score. Runner on 2 advances to 3. Then Dustin Pedroia decides on first base to tag up and go for 2nd as he sees Jeter off the bag. The run scores and then Pedroia is tagged out at 2nd to end the inning.

How should the AB of Ortiz be scored. Is it a Sac Fly – where he is credited with an RBI or is it a Double Play? I think from what I was told at the scoring course it would be considered 2 seperate plays but it’s an odd one I’d much appericate if you could clear up. Thanks in advance, CJ

Joe Gray April 26, 2009 - 10:13 am

This is an interesting play.

For a double-play to lead to credit being withheld for an RBI, it needs to (as a minimum) happen on a ground ball, so Ortiz should have got an RBI and a sacrifice fly here.

It would be considered as two separate plays if and only if there was an intervening misplay (e.g. if Pedroia’s dash for second had been triggered by the right fielder dropping the ball as he went to pick it out of his glove to throw it in). This doesn’t appear to be the case.

So in answer to your question, it’s a sacrifice fly with an RBI, as well as a double-play.

Matt Smith April 26, 2009 - 10:25 am

I was keeping score while watching that game last night/early this morning. I gave Ortiz an SF and an RBI, so I’m glad I got that part right! I wasn’t sure whether Pedroia’s out would be classed as part of a double-play though so I just noted down the 9-6 out.

I’ve checked the official box score this morning and it confirms Joe’s interpretation is correct (of course!).

Adam Brown April 30, 2009 - 1:43 pm

The definition of a double play is tenuous at best. At one end you have the classic groundball double force out, then you have the slightly different situation of the appeal play for leaving early on a caught fly or a missed base – which classifies as a double play if the play is made instantly, but not if there is a delay before the appeal.

Then you have the case of a runner being tagged out after losing concentration – would a 6-3 force out followed by a 3-5 tagout on a runner turning too far round third count as a DP? What if it was a 3-1-5 pickoff but with no intervening play – where do you draw the line?

The Pedroia 9-4 tag out may have been a double play, but what if Pedroia had waited until seeing the throw go home (a 9-1-4 perhaps) before setting off for second? Thats then a seperate play.

Joe Gray April 30, 2009 - 5:49 pm

All of the examples you mention would go down as double plays in my book, although the fielders involved could consider themselves slightly fortuitous to be so credited. The place the line is drawn is a misplay by the defence. If there is no misplay, then it is a double play.

So if the batter hits a fly ball to the right fielder with a runner on second, and the catch is taken, but the second baseman, who has moved out towards the right fielder to allow a relay throw, muffs the ball, which then triggers the runner to set off for third, but the runner is retired on a tag by the third baseman… then that would be two outs but no double play.

Also, the comment to rule 10.11 in the Official Baseball Rules states: “The official scorer shall credit a double play or triple play also if an appeal play after the ball is in possession of the pitcher results in an additional putout.”

CJ May 2, 2009 - 3:24 pm

Thanks for the clarification – think the misplay comment is most helpful in remembering when it is/isn’t a DP. Keep up the good work, CJ

BaseballGB » Blog Archive » Keeping Score – A Saturday night classic October 18, 2009 - 9:01 pm

[…] other play actually prompted a query here in the Comments box on last week’s You Are the Scorer feature.  It occurred in the […]


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