The Ole Ball Game

1st base runner stealing 2nd pticher starts his delivery to batter just before the runner reaches 2nd. Foul ball does the runner have to return to 1st or does he stay at 2nd?

by David
(O'Fallon MO USA)

Photo Bill Stanton:  Checkswing.com

Photo Bill Stanton: Checkswing.com

The pitcher is in a set position when the 1st base runner attempted to steal 2nd.


The pitcher did not attempt to stop or make a throw to 2nd base, he did start his delivery to the batter right before the base runner reached second base.

The batter hits a foul ball.

Does the runner have to return to 1st base or does he stay at 2nd, if the ball had not yet been released by the pitcher?


Rick answered: David, thank you for your question.


The runner in this situation must return to first base.

Once the pitcher stepped on the rubber, it is the beginning of a pitch. If nothing happens to cause a dead ball, or time is not called, then the action within that pitch is continuous.

The runner takes off for second, eventually the pitcher throws the ball, and the batter fouls the pitch off. All continuous action on that pitch, so the runner must return.

If the pitch had not been fouled off; but was a strike or ball taken by the batter, runner stays at 2B with a stolen base.

I would guess the offensive team's coach went crazy when his batter fouled the ball off. Unless that pitch, if taken for a strike, would have been a strikeout on the batter, he should have seen the runner was already there and taken the pitch.

He would then have a runner in scoring position, with an opportunity to drive in the run.

Yours in baseball,

Rick

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