Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Scoring Self-Indulgence, pt. 6: Outs on Base

I previously demonstrated how I score batting outs, but did not touch on outs that occur once there is a runner on base. Again, the examples will assume that the runner reached first by being hit by a pitch. I will begin by looking at plays in which the runner is thrown out in his attempt to advance before the ball is put into play, then look at those that occur after the ball has been put in play (which often are forces for which the runner is not culpable).

Caught stealing is given the obvious code “CS”. The most common is the catcher-to-shortstop putout, although there are obviously many possible combinations. This runner was nailed on the last pitch of a PA (indicating that the PA must have ended with a strikeout; otherwise the runner would have been free to advance on a free pass event or the ball would have been in play) taken by the #3 hitter:



The CS symbol can pop up when an out is not actually recorded; for example, "2CSRE6" is a play in which the catcher gets an assist and the runner is charged with a caught stealing, but is safe due to a receiving error by the shortstop.

I divide pickoffs into three different classes: those that are pure pickoffs (PO), those that are caught stealing/pickoffs on which the play is made at the subsequent base (CP), and those that are caught stealing/pickoffs on which the play is made at the original base (PC). The first is the most straightforward--the runner is picked off when not attempting to advance, in this case on the fourth pitch to the #7 hitter, with the play going 13:



Caught stealing/pickoffs are common when the runner starts for the next base before the pitcher starts his motion, then he steps off and throws. This example is a 136 putout made on the first pitch to the #9 hitter:



I score it as a pickoff/caught stealing when the runner is charged with a caught stealing because he was leaning, but the play is made at the base from which he started. This should be pretty easy to visualize--the runner gets just a touch too far away from the bag, the pitcher whirls to throw, he dives back...and gets tagged out. On the 7th pitch to the #5 hitter:



One extra note I sometimes include, which can be applicable to a number of different outs on base, is the use of the symbols OVS and OVR. OVS is for overslide, and OVR for overrun. This just gives the reader of the scoresheet a better idea of what actually happened on the play. If a runner is caught stealing, but it’s because he popped off the base after initially being sage, you can include the OVS symbol:



The most common ways of getting retired once the ball is put into play are on fielder’s choices and double plays. I do not score any play that technically is considered a fielder’s choice as such; I only use “FC” for a forceout. I’ll show an example of those cases in a minute; first, a standard fielder’s choice. This one goes pitcher to shortstop and forces the runner at second. There is no need to record which batter was responsible, because it will be evident from an examination of the scoresheet:



If the runner is retired as part of a double play when forced (or when doubled off his base on a flyout), I use “DP”. In the latter case, it is necessary to note which batter was the catalyst for the play in question, as I’ll demonstrate in a moment. In the first example, the runner is forced at second third baseman to second baseman as part of a double play:



Of course, there is always the possibility of a triple play, but those are so rare I won’t bother with an example, and the scoring is conceptually similar to that of a double play. I use the obvious symbol “TP” in those cases.

This example is a double play in which the runner is double off first, right fielder to first baseman, after a flyout hit by the #8 hitter:



When a runner chooses to advance of his own volition, I record it as a fielder’s choice provided that the batter does not receive credit for a hit on the play, or it is not an error or flyout. Suppose that a runner at second is thrown out at third by the shortstop when he attempts to advance, unforced, on a groundball. Since the batter will not be credited with a hit, I record the runner’s out as “FC65”. In the corresponding batter’s scorebox, the play will be scored as “FC6”:



If the runner is thrown out attempting to take an extra base on a hit (or on an error), then I scored it as an out advancing. It is not necessary to note which batter’s PA the out occurred on as long as there is some other evidence of it in the runner’s scorebox. In this example, the runner advanced on some play initiated by the #1 hitter, but then tried to an extra base and was throw out at third, center fielder to third baseman. Since the advancement to second is already noted as having occurred during the PA of the leadoff hitter, it is assumed that the out on third also occurred on that play.



If the advancement occurred on a play in which the runner did not take another base noted on the scoresheet, then there would have to be some note of it. In this case, the runner at third was thrown out at the plate by the left fielder while trying to advance on a flyball hit by the ninth hitter:



When a batter is thrown out attempting to take an extra base after reaching safely on a hit or an error, I score it as “OS” (Out Stretching). In this example, the batter singled to right, then was gunned out right fielder to shortstop attempting to take second:



One unusual way in which a runner can be wiped out is when he is hit by a batted ball. For the batter, this automatically becomes a single. Let’s suppose that a runner on first is hit by a ground ball hit by the batter in the vicinity of the second baseman. First, the scoring for the batter: he gets credit for a groundball infield single to second base, with the fact that his ball hit a runner noted with the use of the code “HBB” (Hit by Ball):



For the runner, the out is noted as HBBx, where x is the position number of the fielder that gets credit for the putout (so, in this case, HBB4). There is no need to note which batter hit the ball because it will be clear from examining the other scoreboxes:



Another modifier along the lines of OVR/OVS is the use of OBL for “Out of Baseline” (not the world’s most wanted man). This code is used when the runner is ruled out for going out of the baseline. There will still be standard scoring for this play, so the notation is made parenthetically (I use brackets). Suppose the play is scored catcher to first base:



The above example was for a batter-runner, but it could also be used for runners already on base.

Other modifier codes that are rarely used but that can pop up are “LE” (left early--I use this if a runner is called out for tagging before the ball is caught, followed by the appropriate credit for the putout and a circled indication of which batter initiated the play) and “MB” (missed base, used when a runner is called out for failing to touch one of the bases, and again followed by the putout credit and indication of which batter was at the plate if necessary).

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