Thanks to CJ Evans from the Chelmsford Clippers for this question. For the first time ever on the column we have a video to go with it, which is embedded below.
The descriptive text and question posted in the accompanying text on YouTube is as follows:
“British baseball play, pop-up to pitcher, runners on 1 and 3. Runner at 1 goes on contact with none out and gets doubled off trying to get back. Runner at 3 comes home on the play and scores without a throw. Question – how do you score it?”
In particular, CJ wants to know the following:
- “Should 1B be charged with an error for not throwing?”
- “Can there be a sac fly on an infield pop-up?”
- “Does the pitcher get charged with an earned run? (After this play there is a walk and then a ground out so he would have been stranded if the following plays bore out.)”
These are my thoughts on those three questions. If anyone concurs or disagrees, please feel free to chip in with a comment.
- This is a mental mistake so no error is charged. (Rule 10.12(a)(1) Comment: “The official scorer shall not score mental mistakes or misjudgments as errors unless a specific rule prescribes otherwise.” I am not aware of a rule in the book overriding this general statement.)
- A sacrifice fly should never be scored for a catch taken in the infield. (Rule 10.08(d): “Score a sacrifice fly when, before two are out, the batter hits a ball in flight handled by an outfielder or an infielder running in the outfield in fair or foul territory.”)
- Yes, because no error is charged on the play.
So it goes in the book as a double-play comprising a fly-out to 1 and a 1-3 put-out, with the run being scored on the play, and no error being charged. Thus, the batter is charged with a time at-bat and no-one gets a run batted in. Also note that the runner who is put out trying to return to first does not get charged with a caught stealing because the action occurred on a ball in play (as soon as the ball is put in play, all stolen base/caught stealing considerations are voided). I mention this last point because it was a question I got from a rookie scorer on the Leicester Blue Sox a couple of weekends back at the Herts Spring League.
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