Hit or Fielder's choice?
Karla asked: Runner on second, no other base runners. Batter hits a high chopper between short and third. The pitcher runs over and fields the play cleanly.
Runner on second does not move but pitcher looks at him. He decides to hold ball to assure runner stays on second. No attempt made to throw ball.. Batter safe.
Hit or fielders choice?
Rick answered: Karla, thank you for your question.
Rule 9-3 Player's Batting Record
Art 2-2, A basehit is credited to a batter when he advances to first base safely: Base hits include any fair hit which cannot be fielded in time to throw out or tag out a batter/runner or any other runner when he is being forced to advance. Illistrations are: ball is stopped or checked by a fielder in motion who cannot recover in time, or ball moves too slowly, or ball is hit with such force to a fielder that neither he nor an assisting fielder can handle it.
c. because of a fielder's choice (2-14-1) when a fielder attempts to put out another runner but is unsuccessful and the scorer believes the batter/runner would have reached first base even with perfect fielding.
Rule 2-14- Fielders Choice
Art 1: A fielder's choice is the act of a fielder with a live ball, who elects to throw for an attempted putout or to retire unassisted any runner or batter/runner, thus permitting the advance of another runner(s). The scorer decides whether the batter is credited with a safe hit or an extra base hit in accordance with 9-2-2, 9-3-3.
Scorers use the term in the following ways:
a. to indicate the advance of the batter/runner who takes one or more bases when a fielder who handles his batted ball plays on a preceeding runner.
b. to indicate the advance of a runner(other than by stolen base or error) while a fielder is trying to put out another runner; and
c. to indicate the advance of a runner due to the defensive teams refusal to play on him ( an undefended steal).
For the scorer to give the batter a hit he would have to believe that the fielder had no possibility of getting the batter out if he made a play on him.
If he had plenty of time, he just chose to keep the runner at second and not risk his advancing on the throw to first, much like defensive indifference when a play is not made on a runner stealing a base because that runner will be unconsequential at that point in the game, it would be a fielder's choice.
All about scorer's decision on whether the fielder could have gotten the runner out or not.
Yours in baseball,
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