You Are the Scorer: Number 32

YouAreScorer

Scenario: The runner on first base is standing a couple of feet off the bag and is lost in conversation with the first baseman, who is an old team-mate. The fielder is just setting the baserunner up for a pick-off, though, and by the time the victim twigs, the ball is already in the mitt of the first baseman. As the fielder moves to apply the tag, the runner instinctively sets off for second but is well aware that the fielder can beat him in a foot race. The tag is applied about a third of the way towards second.

As the official scorer, do you charge the runner with a caught stealing?

A – Yes.
B – No.

Highlight the text below to reveal the answer:

Answer:
A – Yes

Rule 10.07(h)(2) states:
[The official scorer shall charge a runner as “caught stealing” if such runner is put out, or would have been put out by errorless play, when such runner] is picked off a base and tries to advance (any move toward the next base shall be considered an attempt to advance).

In contrast, if the picked-off runner is tagged trying to return to the bag, then the rules state that this would not be a caught stealing.

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