There's a runner on 2nd.
0 or maybe 1 out.
The batter hits a grounder to the shortstop in the left infield.
As the runner advances from 2nd to third, the short stop, who is much closer to third, throws to first to tag the batter.
I've seen this dozens of times.
Why do they go for first and allow the runner to reach third?
Each case is different, depending on the situation.
Obviously, a runner on 3rd would be in better scoring position.
However, if it's the 9th inning and they are up by more than 1 run, the lead runner scoring makes absolutely no difference. They need 3 outs without giving up 2 runs.
They can give up 1 run and will still win.
Trying to get the lead runner, takes a chance they will miss the for sure out.
If this example you mentioned was getting the first out and they let the runner go to 3rd. They could afford to it again, letting him score to get the 2nd out.
They would still have a 1 run lead and just need 1 more out.
However, it's a completely different situation, if this particulate runner going from 2nd to 3rd would TIE the game or WIN the game in the 9th. Then they would try to keep him from advancing.
You also said they TAG the runner on first.
did you mean throw him out by getting the ball to first before the runner gets thereand not actually tag him?
With the runner between 2nd and 3rd, usually what happens is that the runner will hold up close to 2nd base and wait for the SS to throw the ball to first and he woule never have the chance to tag the guy.
then , you might have runners on 1st and 2nd, if the SS tries to get the runner, who goes back to 2nd because he stayed close until it was safe to run AFTER the ball was thrown to 1st.
"Tag" was probably the wrong word.
Up until the last few years, I'd always found baseball boring, much prefering the more action packed football, which I also understand a lot better after 50 or so years of fandom
It's only in the last few years that I've come to appreciate baseball. It's mostly anticipation, but there is an underlying current of excitement in most games that I have recently come to appreciate.
Tim, although baseball can be "slow" if you become involved the way the old timers are things like "the sand lot" movie become part of your life. Another one is a fact based movie with Dennis Quad where a science teacher makes the bigs late in life. Baseball is timeless. 9 innings we go or more til its over with many swings in between. One of the best to listen to is a Atlanta original hall of famer and baseball analyst John Smoltz. He does the color on most of the big playoff games and is amazing.
MM, what a great explanation. Very thorough.
I read it over this morning and thought that it could have been confusing to others, actually and was very incomplete.
You'll really love this!
1. If its the 9th inning, it means the team that is ahead, just needs to get 3 outs when the opponent is batting and the game is over.
2. If they are up by 2+ runs, the first man on base means nothing. If that run scores, they still win the game by 1 run.
3. If they are up by just 1 run, that man will tie the game. HE is the priority. If the game is tied, HE is the priority.
4. If it's the top of the 9th and the other team is BEHIND and going to bat still in the bottom of the 9th. HE is the priority in those situations because the extra run MATTERS to the score. They will need an EXTRA run in the bottom of the 9th. That run MATTERS.
5. Same for #4 in any other inning 1-8, regardless of the score because that run matters. However, if a team was up by a large margin, late in the game, they may start counting outs left. If they were up by 7 runs for instance and it was the the start of the 8th inning, the other team needs 7 runs to tie it but they need just 6 outs. They may focus more on getting the outs, than to keep runners from scoring.
6. This is a huge deal, related to the above. If the game is tied in the 9th, with 2 outs and a runner at 2nd they will ALWAYS walk the batter to put him on 1st base. That's because the runner on 1st means absolutely nothing as far as his run, since the game will be over if the runner on 2nd scored. However, the runner on first gives them a FORCE OUT at 3rd. This means that any ground ball in the infield, with runners on 1st and 2nd make for an easy out(if the ball is hit to the left side of the field) if they get the ball to 3rd before the runner arrives from 2nd. If the ball is hit on the right side of the field or close to 2nd base, they will use the closest base or 1st base. 1st base always gives them the most time because the runners on base will have a head start running, with a lead off their base to get to the next base and always beat the batter getting to 1st base that will be starting from home with no lead off or running start and in the process of swinging a bat vs taking off running earlier, like the runners get.
7. It can also depend on what part of the line up the batting team is in. If they are in the middle of the line up, with the weakest batters coming up, they may feel more confident in getting the remaining outs needed from the weakest hitters in spots 7-8-9. If this is batter #9, they know upcoming will be their best hitters at the top of the line up. This is can especially be important higher up in the line up and the batter at the plate is really hot and is a power hitter and the hitter behind him is in a slump/weaker. They could intentionally walk the dangerous hitter, especially if it fills the vacant spot at first, thuse creating force outs at the other bases, so the they can pitch to the next, weaker batter they feel can get him out.
8. There's also a REALLY HUGE consideration for who's pitching and from what side of the mound he pitches with respect to who coming up to bat(what side he bats). Left handed batters are much more successful against right handed pitchers. Right hand batters do better against left hand throwers. Almost always, though in the very late innings of a close game where 1 run means everything, if a good left hander is coming to bat, they remove a right handed pitcher and put in a lefty to increase the odds in favor of the pitcher.
The wildest, wackiest, most incredible MLB game ever played: July 4th-5th,1985 Mets at Braves:
After already being quite memorable to this point, this certified this as the wackiest:
I'll never forget it as I happened to stay up nearly all night to watch it. Also, I had a friend who was ushering at the game.
Unbelievable game. Thanks!
Your first link requires a subscription of $1/month for me, so here's a free one:
On July 4, 1985, the New York Mets beat the Atlanta Braves 16–13 in a 19-inning Major League Baseball contest that featured Keith Hernandez hitting for the cycle, Mets manager Davey Johnson being ejected, and the Braves coming back to tie the game twice in extra innings, most notably in the bottom of the 18th.
The game was especially highlighted by relief pitcher Rick Camp, a career .060 hitter at the time with no home runs batting only because the Braves had no position players left, shockingly hitting a solo home run on a 0–2 pitch in the 18th off of Tom Gorman to re-tie the game at 11–11. As a result, it has become known simply as the Rick Camp game.
This was my most memorable game. I was at this game with my Dad in the right field bleachers. Turned out to be Denny McLains last win in 1968 but that's not why we went.
Dad took me to see Mickey Mantle in his last game in Detroit(we'd gone to a few other Tiger games in the past but he loved Mantle).
McLain had a couple more starts that season and everyone assumed that he would end up with at least 32 wins, maybe 33.
The huge deal from the baseball world was focused on win #30, as he got closer and closer to the first 30 game win pitcher since Dizzy Dean did it for St.Louis in 1934.
The game that looked like his 30th win was sold out weeks before I think.
After win #30, it wasn't that huge of a deal anymore.
Wonderful, detailed description below: