Baseball is a two-team sport in which each side attempts to score runs over the course of nine innings. The home team bats second (in the “bottom” of the inning), whereas the visiting club bats first (in the “top” of the inning).
The batting team sends one player, known as the hitter or batter, to bat (known as a “at bat”) in each inning until three hitters are “out,” while the pitching team has nine players on the field attempting to prevent them from scoring. If the score is tied after nine innings, a tenth inning is played, followed by an eleventh, a twelfth, and so on (both halves of the extra inning have to be completed before the game is resolved, if both teams score a run in the tenth, then an eleventh is played, etc). In baseball, there are no ties.
A runner scores a run when he or she reaches home base after touching first, second, and third bases. At any given time, only one runner is allowed on each base.
At any given time, each side has nine players “on the field,” however they are usually made up of twenty-five players (the rest are substitutes). A substitute may enter the game at any time (due to injury, weariness, or tactical reasons), but a player who has been replaced by a substitute is not allowed to return to the game.
The infield is square, but it is referred to as a “diamond” since each corner includes a base (first base, second base, third base, and home base). Each of the bases is 90 feet apart. The pitcher’s mound is located in the centre of the diamond, 60.5 feet from home plate.
The outfield, which is generally encircled by a wall and is between 325 and 450 feet away from home plate, lies beyond the diamond. There are also two “foul lines” that extend from the first and third base lines to the outside wall, with a large “foul pole” at the end of each foul line where it meets the outside wall to indicate which long hits are fair and which are foul.
“Fair territory” refers to the region between the first and third base lines, as well as the outfield wall.
A “pitcher,” one of the fielding players, stands on the pitching mound and throws the ball to the hitter at home plate. The batter attempts to put the ball in play by hitting it inside the foul lines (the ball must land in front of first or third base and inside the foul lines) and then racing to first base without being tagged out. He has the option of stopping at first base or continuing to second, third, or home base.
When a batter comes to a halt on a base (becomes a “base runner”), he can advance once again when the next batter is “at bat.” As a result, whenever a batter puts the ball in play, you’ll see not only him run, but also any teammates on other bases.
If a batter hits the ball over the outfield wall (a “Home Run”), he and any other base runners advance to home base automatically.
A runner scores a run whenever he gets to home plate.
Making a Scene
A hitter can be struck out in one of numerous ways by the defensive team:-
Flied Out – The batter hits the ball and it is caught by a fielder without it bouncing. Fielders catch balls when they fall into the stands, dugouts, or at the outfield wall, stretching over the wall and snagging a ball and preventing a “home run.”
Surprisingly, if a batter makes only light contact with the ball and the catcher still manages to collect it (a “foul tip”), the catch is not counted as a catch, but rather as a strike (which may be the third strike).
Put Out – When a runner isn’t on a base, the fielding team can “put him out” by touching him with the ball. They don’t even have to “tag” the runner in some cases; for example, if he’s forced to rush towards a base because a runner behind him is running towards his, a fielder can merely touch the base while holding the ball and the runner is “forced out.”
Strike Out – When the pitcher pitches the ball, he must do so in the “strike zone” or the batter will swing and miss. The strike zone is located above the batter’s knees, below the midpoint of his waist and shoulders, and above “home plate” (which is 17 inches wide). A batter gets “struck out” if a pitcher can throw three strikes in a row.
It’s also a strike if the batter swings and misses a pitch (even if it’s outside the strike zone) or smacks a “foul ball” (a hit that doesn’t move between the two foul lines). A “foul ball,” on the other hand, cannot be considered a third strike.
A “ball” is when a batter does not swing at a pitch when the pitch is not in the strike zone. If a batter is hit by four pitches, he is given a free “walk” to first base (also known as a “base on balls”).