Value of Hits

(Jim Davis, Boston Globe)

When a batter gets a hit the base he ends up on isn’t necessarily the hit he gets credit for.  For example, if he hits a routine grounder to the outfield, and there is a runner on 2nd who tries to score and the outfielder throws the ball home in at attempt to retire the runner, the batter only gets a single, even though he may end up at second base by the end of the play.  All the details for determining the value of a base hit are covered in Rule 10.06 of the scoring rules.

The basic concept to apply is to credit the batter with the number of bases he would have had, if there were no other runners on base.  In the example above, obviously he would not have advanced to 2nd base, unless there was a throw to home plate, therefore he gets a single and the advance to 2nd is on a fielder’s choice.  The one exception to this rule, is that if a batter hits what would ordinarily be a clean double or triple, but the runner on first base gets thrown trying to advance 2 or 3 bases respectively, then the batter only gets credit for a single or double.  However, there are cases where a batter can get more bases than advanced by a runner.  (Example, runner on 2nd is tagging up in case a deep fly ball into the corner is caught.  It drops in and he only gets to 3rd base ,while batter reaches second – this is a double).

Other things to note:

  •  the batter does not get credit for a base that he missed and is called out on appeal or overslides and is tagged out.  Examples:
    • if he overslides 2nd base and is tagged out, he gets credit for a single.
    • if he misses 2nd base on an inside the park home run and is called out on appeal, he only gets a single
  • on a walkoff hit, he only gets credit for the lesser of the number of bases the winning runner had to get or the bases the batter actually got. Examples:
    • runner on 3rd; batter hits a line drive in the corner – no matter what base he gets to, he can only get a single.
    • runner on 3rd; batter hits a ground rule double – see above, he just gets a single
    • runner on 2nd; batter hits a ball in the corner, runner scores and batter stops at 1st – batter only gets a single
    • the one exception is on an outside of the park home run – the batter gets credit for the home run as long as he runs all the way around the bases (aka “How Robin Ventura won an NLCS game with a grand-slam single“).
  • on a base award due to things such as a fielder throwing equipment at a batted ball (The Rulebook Guru explains this well at this site), the batter gets credit for the bases he is awarded
    • again, note that the walkoff rules appy here too.  If awarded 3 bases, but the winning run is on 2nd, only credit the batter with a double.
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  1. line drive to right 9-4-6 batter over slides 2nd and is tagged out is it a double and an out

  2. No. It is just a single. Under “other things to note” above I give this exact example:
    “THE BATTER DOES NOT GET CREDIT FOR A BASE THAT HE missed and is called out on appeal or OVERSLIDES AND IS CALLED OUT Examples: if he overslides 2nd base and is tagged out, he gets credit for a single.” (I added caps here for emphasis)

  3. What if the batter hits a ball to the outfield that the shortstop and second baseman also attempt to catch and the ball cleanly drops in for a hit. The batter running hard rounds first and notices second is not being covered by anyone and continues safely on to second. Is it scored a double or a single as there was no attempt on him to get him out at second?

  4. Michael Allgood

    Is base runner interference, i.e. the runner hit by a batted ball, ruled a single for the batter?

  5. Michael Allgood

    Thanks for the prompt reply. Now I know how a team can get six hits in an inning without scoring a run.

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