If you’re not keen on baseball terms then there are a lot of phrases you’ll hear that just don’t seem to make sense. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. There are LOT of things to learn, but if you’re going to be making an appearance at the stadium this season, there are a few that you should know right off the bat, no pun intended.
DOUBLE-PLAY – A PLAYER MAKES TWO OUTS IN A CONTINUOUS PLAY
This is a scenario where a player makes two outs in a single continuous play and there are two primary examples we’re going to cover in which it would be plausible. The first would be a scenario in where the batter hits a ground ball to a middle infielder who steps on second base and forces the runner out, then throws the ball to the first baseman who forces the batter out, making the second out. This is known as a forced double play.
The second scenario involves the ground ball being hit to the first baseman who will then step onto first base to force the batter out. They then throw the ball to the shortstop who takes the baserunner out.
These are two scenarios, and while there are a few others, you get the idea: it’s a play that involves more than one runner being taken out of action.
AROUND THE HORN
This term is used when a fielder throws the ball from third, to second, to first during the course of a double play. It also occurs when a catcher throws the ball to third, and the fielders toss it following a strikeout. Finally, it could also be declared when a hitter touches them all following a home run.
As the name implies, this is a diversionary tactic. The technique combines the slider and curveball, which is designed to trick the hitter into believing that the thrown pitch will be a ball rather than a strike, and at the last second, the ball snaps back toward the plate. The speed of a backdoor slider will give the hitter less time to make the ultimate decision (to hit, or not to hit), which is why they’re almost always preferred over the standard curveball.
Out of all the terms we’ve mentioned in this post, this is perhaps the most controversial. A beanball is very similar to a brushback pitch, but the entire purpose is, in fact, to hit the batter. Oftentimes this is an act of anger, but there have been times where it has been used as a matter of strategy. The tactic sometimes used when a player is giving up the chance of a home run, or when they are pitching to a rival. Generally, it is against the rules, but it must be proven.
We’ve covered five terms today, but there are several more to learn – keep that in mind and continue learning as baseball season commences!