Thursday, January 6, 2011

Hitting Approach with a Runner on Second Base

In baseball, a base runner at second base is considered to be a runner in scoring position because he has a good chance to score on a base hit to the outfield. But getting a base hit is not the only way to have a productive at-bat with a runner on second base. 

With no outs, if it is your turn to hit, you should be looking to get a base hit and score your teammate. But hitting a ground ball to the right side of the infield (the first baseman or second baseman) also makes for a good at-bat.

 A ground ball to the right side will allow the runner at second base to move to third base, and give your teammate hitting next an opportunity to try to score the runner. With the runner now on third and one out, the next batter can score the run with a base hit, a ground ball or a sacrifice fly. 

Why with no outs? 

Why not with less than two outs?

Say you are batting with one out and a teammate is on second base. You hit a ground ball to the second baseman. The runner moves up to third and you are thrown out at first base for the second out. Now there are two outs with a runner at third base. Now the next batter has to get a base hit to score the runner. A sacrifice fly or another ground ball will not work. 

Don’t get me wrong, there are more ways to score from third base than second base other than a base hit – passed ball, wild pitch and balk, to name a few. So even with one out, a ground ball to the right side of the infield or a fly ball that the base runner advances on should not be seen as a disappointing at bat. 

The point I am trying to make is this – with one out, do not approach your at bat as if you are only trying to advance the runner to third. Again, it is a good consolation prize and a somewhat productive out. But with one out, you should be trying to get a base hit that will allow the runner to score. 

If there is one out and a runner at second base and you hit a ground ball to the third baseman, you will probably be thrown out at first base and the runner will stay at second base. But remember, runners at second base are considered to be in scoring position. Regardless of the runner being at second base or third base with two outs, your team will still need a base hit for him to score.

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