Consecutive Game Hitting Streaks

jbj2

Courtesy of Mark Bloom/Icon Sportwire

I wrote a post on Jackie Bradley Jr over at my Red Sox focused blog. Among other things, I noted a quirk in the consecutive game hitting streak scoring rule.  This was a temporary hot topic on twitter when he was walked in his first couple of plate appearances while trying to keep his hit streak alive. A few tweeps quickly pointed out that the streak does not end if all plate appearances are walks, hit by pitch, CI or sacrifice bunts.  But it does end, if a batter gets a sacrifice fly.   Here is the exact wording of the rule (9.23(b) previously 10.23(b)):

A consecutive-game hitting streak shall not be terminated if all of a batter’s plate appearances (one or more) in a game result in a base on balls, hit batsman, defensive interference or obstruction or a sacrifice bunt. The streak shall terminate if the player has a sacrifice fly and no hit.

Curious that a sacrifice fly ends it.  An at bat is not charged for a SF, so a hit streak could end with a player going 0-0.  Imagine after hitting in 55 consecutive games, a manager intentionally walks you in every plate appearance. Until you come up with the bases loaded with one out in a tie game in the bottom of the 9th. You hit a long sacrifice fly to get a walkoff win.  According to this rule, Joe DiMaggio can rest easy knowing that his record will not be broken.

If anybody has any idea why the rule is written this way, I’d love to hear it.

 

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About Ruben Lipszyc

I write about baseball. I'm a member of the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Blogger's Alliance, and I write about my Red Sox and keep Albertans up to date on local baseball happenings at RubensBaseball.blogspot.com. I occasionally also write articles for the Canadian Baseball Network at www.CanadianBaseballNetwork.com.

Posted on May 22, 2016, in MLB Situation and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. My only thought is that a sacrifice fly, unlike a sacrifice bunt, is almost always a matter of coincidence rather than an actual effort on the batter’s part to sacrifice himself to advance/score a runner. The batter is more often than not trying to get a hit rather than just hit a deep fly ball, as one less out and another runner on base is usually more valuable than getting that run across, unless it is late in the game and your team is desperately trying to tie or take the lead (or you happen to be facing Clayton Kershaw). Personally, I never agreed with the rule of no at bat recorded for a sac fly, but that’s just my opinion.

    • Your explanation makes sense, and thank you for the comment. But the rule of no at bat recorded for a sac fly, that you disagree with, kind of contradicts that. It would make perfect sense if a SF was an at bat.

  2. Exactly!

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