The Ole Ball Game

Scorekeeping/Fielders Choice.

by Al Neiman
(Portola Valley, CA)

Sacrifice Bunt World Series 1954

Sacrifice Bunt World Series 1954

Al asked: Runner on 2nd no outs. Batter lays down bunt, pitcher fields and throws late to 3rd. All runners safe.

What is the scorekeeping decision here? Is it simply a fielders choice, a hit, or a sacrifice and a fielders choice?

It would seem a simple fielders choice penalizes the batter. It the throw were made to first he would have been out but it would have been a sacrifice and no at bat recorded. The scorekeepers decision was to give the batter a fielders choice with an at bat recorded which penalizes him when no outs were recorded on the play.

Rick answered:Great question! It is amazing how quickly baseball score keeping can become complicated. Your situation is a good example.

Based on your situation description, the correct scoring decision should have been a sacrifice recorded for the batter. The runner was advanced on a bunt which, if fielded and thrown to first base would have resulted in the batter being out.

The other possibility in this situation would be to record a base hit to the batter, if the scorer believes that the batter/runner would have reached first base even with perfect fielding.

A sacrifice or a base hit were the only two options, fielder's choice would not apply here.

You are correct that recording the play as a fielder's choice penalizes the batter unfairly.

The rule book description for this is:

Rule 9-3 Player's Batting Record:
Art 2: A basehit is is credited to a batter when he advances to first base safely:

Art 2-C: because of a fielders's choice 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.

Art 4: A sacrifice is credited to the batter when, with not more than one out, his bunt enables any runner to advance, or his fly ball enables a runner to score but which, in either case, results in the batter/runner being out before he reaches first, or would have resulted in his being out if his bunt or batted ball had been fielded without error.

Yours in baseball,

Rick

Comments for Scorekeeping/Fielders Choice.

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Jun 21, 2017
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Earned run vs unearned run NEW
by: Anonymous

Pitcher gives up a lead off double next batter grounds out runner goes to third. Next batter strikes out. Next batter hits an easy ground ball to third baseman who fields it cleanly then makes a bad throw to first run scores. Should this be an unearned run sence the third out should hav been made thanks

Jun 15, 2016
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Losing pitcher
by: Rick

Anonymous...Losing pitcher is the reliever who came into the game, as the runner who scored the winning run reached base on that reliever.

The runner the reliever inherited was erased on the FC, which lets the starting pitcher off the hook.

Yours in baseball,

Rick

May 31, 2016
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Winning pitcher?
by: Anonymous

Tie score, bottom of the 9th. First batter singles. Reliever brought in. Second batter puts ball in play, first batter out at second base, second batter safe at first on fielders choice. Third batter hits a triple to score the winning run. Who is the losing pitcher?

Apr 04, 2016
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Runner at third less than two outs
by: Anonymous

Batter hits a hot shot to 3rd he goes to 1st gets out run scores.
Rbi and fc or rbi and sac?

Feb 25, 2016
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Fielder's Choice? Error
by: Anonymous

With less than two outs and a runner on first and third, a pop up falls very shallow in the outfield due to a slow second baseman. The batter reaches first base safely, but the runner on first base is out at second because he had to wait at first base due to the possibility of the ball being caught. Runner at third scores. Is this considered a fielder's choice? Wouldn't say it's an error because the second baseman didn't drop it. Would an RBI be awarded? Thanks!

Nov 09, 2015
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Error on Fielders Choice?
by: Rick,theoleballgame

Anonymous: There are no recorded errors for mental mistakes. When the SS decided to make the throw to the plate, the only error that could occur is if he threw the ball away, or the catcher missed or dropped the ball, causing the runner to be safe.

Batter is credited with an rbi, the at bat is a fielders choice.

Yours in baseball,

Rick

Nov 09, 2015
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Error?
by: Anonymous

Is fielder credited with an error if they fail to get an out on a fielder's choice? For example, bases loaded, no outs, ball hit to SS. Easy play at 1st or 2nd, but decides to throw home and runner is safe.

Jul 27, 2015
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fielders choice
by: Anonymous

It is a fielders choice since an out was recorded on the play.

Jul 27, 2015
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FC or hit on a bunt?
by: Kevin

runner on second, 1 out. batter bunts to P who throws out runner at third. batter safe at first. batter is very fast and would have beat throw to first. Fielders choice or can I score as a hit based on judgment that he would have been safe at first.

Jun 24, 2015
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Earned runs
by: Anonymous

bases loaded, no outs. BAtter hits chopper to third. Throw comes home but is over catchers head. Two runs score. next batter strikes out. next batter fc out at home. next batter walk. next batter strikes out. Scorer scored both runs as earned. Should be unearned. If all plays were made, nor runs would have scored.

Jun 15, 2015
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2nd and 3rd, Chopper to 3rd
by: Dave

A high chopper is hit to the third basemen, the third basemen looks toward the runner at third, freezes and attempts to run/tag the runner at third. No throw is made, no error, no outs, is this a hit or a filder's choice for the hitter?

May 15, 2015
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FC or infield hit?
by: Anonymous

simple one here I think?

Man on first. Ball hit to 3rd basemen. He goes to 2nd, runner is safe. End of play.

FC or just a hit for the batter.

May 12, 2015
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Sacrafice Bunt - Runner on 3rd
by: Matt

Runner on 3rd. Batter asked to bunt (double safety squeeze). Pitcher fields the bunt, pump fakes to 3rd to hold the runner and never makes a throw to third. Is it still a sacrafice? Only runner to advance is the batter to first.

May 01, 2015
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FC vs hit?
by: TXBaseball

Runner on 2nd no outs. Batter hit chopper toward SS. SS fields the ball (very deep) runner on 2nd has already taken off for 3rd. SS holds the ball for a second or two and both runners are safe.

Runner at first was going to be safe either way.

FC? Infield Hit?

Apr 23, 2015
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FC or Base Hit
by: PurpleGrouper

Bases loaded. Batter hits to third baseman who fields it cleanly, but deep behind third. Third baseman hesitates and looks to his right (perhaps thinking about attempting to tag out baseruuner running from second to third, or perhaps looking to see if pitcher is covering third to throw out baserunner, or perhaps thinking about attempting to throw out baserunner running to home), does not attempt any defensie play other than throwing to first base. Batter is safe at first "by a mile". Scorer records a FC. I say, since no defensive attempt was made other than to first base it is not a FC. It clearly is not an error (Rule 10.12(a)(1) Comment: Slow handling of the ball that does not involve mechanical misplay shall not be construed as an error.) Base hit?

Apr 12, 2015
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Fielder's choice or not?
by: Dale M

If a runner is forced out to end an inning is a fielder's choice recorded for the batter? I've heard it both ways.

Sep 09, 2014
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Sacrifice?
by: Anonymous

Runner's on 1st and 2nd. Batter bunts ball back toward pitcher. Coaches call for throw to third but with 3B crashing no one is covering. Timing throw to 3B is dropped but would not have beat the runner. Not a great bunt but the only play was to first. Still a sacrifice or FC, E1?

Aug 20, 2014
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Scorekeeping/Fielder's Choice
by: Rick(theoleballgame

DD ~ E-4, fielder's choice.

Yours in baseball,

Rick

Aug 20, 2014
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Fielder's Choice or Error?
by: DD

Hi folks,
Hopefully an easy one. Runner on first and a grounder is hit to short. Shortstop picks it up, throws to second and the second baseman drops the ball. I'm assuming the scoring is FC E-4. Or is it simply just an error? Thanks!!

Jun 22, 2014
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FC, error, or hit
by: Keith

Runners on 1st and 2nd, two out. Batter hits a dribbler towards the pitcher. The pitcher has no play at first, but has a play at third. Pitcher makes a throwing error allowing the runner to reach 3rd safely. Since there was no play at first, and no out was recorded, how is that scored?

May 25, 2014
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Sac or FC
by: DR

The fair scoring would be a sacrifice but according to the rule, that is not a possibility. It must be recorded as a FC and it does unfairly penalize the batter. A flaw in the rules of scoring. I saw it a few weeks ago in a D2 college baseball game and today (5/25/14), in a college softball game. In each case the bunt allowed all runners to be safe, no error on the play, and yet each hitter given a FC and not a sac. Too bad. Ironic that if the hitter walked to first and was eventually thrown out it would be better for their average than if they were safe.

May 25, 2014
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Sac or FC
by: DR

The fair scoring would be a sacrifice but according to the rule, that is not a possibility. It must be recorded as a FC and it does unfairly penalize the batter. A flaw in the rules of scoring. I saw it a few weeks ago in a D2 college baseball game and today (5/25/14), in a college softball game. In each case the bunt allowed all runners to be safe, no error on the play, and yet each hitter given a FC and not a sac. Too bad. Ironic that if the hitter walked to first and was eventually thrown out it would be better for their average than if they were safe.

Apr 29, 2014
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Fielder's Choice
by: Rick, theoleballgame

In the case you are describing, it would be a fielder's choice with no rbi awarded, as the batter would have been put out on the grounder, rule 9-4-5 a...it is not a run batted in if there is a double play from a force or one in which the batter is put out or should have been put out on a batted ground ball.

Yours in baseball,

Rick

Mar 21, 2014
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Is this considered an rbi
by: Anonymous

a base runner on 3rd 1 out the hitter hits a high chopper to 1st the fist baseman tries to get the runner at home his throw is off the plate runner scores from 3rd is this an rbi for the hitter?

Mar 21, 2014
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Is this considered an rbi
by: Anonymous

a base runner on 3rd 1 out the hitter hits a high chopper to 1st the fist baseman tries to get the runner at home his throw is off the plate runner scores from 3rd is this an rbi for the hitter?

Jul 04, 2012
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Sacrifice, fielders choice?
by: Rick (theoleballgame)

Tim: For a play to qualify as a sacrifice, it needs to be a bunt which enables any runner to advance, or a fly ball(sac fly), which enables a runner to score.

In your situation, the batter has hit a ground ball, so it is automatically not eligible to go as a sacrifice, as it was not a bunt or a fly ball.

The shortstop throws to second to record the force, no DP attempt. Creates a fielder's choice; but the batter gets credit for the rbi when the runner scores from third, on the putout at second.

The fielder's choice, rbi is the best the batter can come up with in that situation.

Yours in baseball,

Rick

Jul 03, 2012
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Scorekeeping/Fielders Choice with bases loaded
by: Tim

Bases are loaded with one out. Batter hits a ground ball to short stop. Short stop throws the ball to the second baseman at second base, with an out recorded. Runner from 3rd base scores at home. Batter is safe at first. There is no attempt at a double play by the second baseman. In my example, the scorekeeper gave a FC, which negatively effected the batters average and OBP. Because the runner scored from 3rd, should the Batter receive a sacrafice instead of FC, thus not effecting his average?

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