Scenario: The batter hits a fizzing liner straight back at the pitcher, who instinctively tries to turn away from the pitch. The ball loops up off the pitcher’s back and bounces in front of the shortstop, who scoops the ball up and fires it over to first to retire the batter-runner.
How would you put the play down in your scorebook?
A – 1-6-3.
B – 6-3.
Highlight the text below to reveal the answer:
Answer: A – 1-6-3.
Rule 10.10(a)(1) Comment states:
Mere ineffective contact with the ball shall not be considered an assist. “Deflect” shall mean to slow down or change the direction of the ball and thereby effectively assist in putting out a batter or runner.
While unintentional, the pitcher’s involvement is clearly assisting the putting out of the batter-runner, as without it the ball would probably have got through to the outfield.