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Catching Foul Ball in Outfield with bases loaded

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  • Catching Foul Ball in Outfield with bases loaded

    Not sure if this is the right forum for this question, but saw a play in the Cubs/Pirates game. The Pirates had the bases loaded with no outs. The Pirates batter hit a ball to deep right field in foul territory.

    The Cubs right fielder -- Fukodome -- makes a running catch. However, the runner on third tagged and scored and the runner on second advanced to third.

    Shouldn't Fukodome simply let the ball drop?

  • #2
    What inning was it? What was the score? If it's 3-3 in the bottom of the 9th, then you should let it drop. If the outfielder's team is up 10-3, then it's probably best to catch it.

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    • #3
      It's all a matter of chances. What are the chances that the batter would do MORE damage then the one run given another chance? What are the chances that he wou hit into a double play, which may still score a run but result in two outs? And on and on. Game situation, which hitter, inning, etc.

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      • #4
        Thanks for the responses.

        It was the top of the sixth Cubs leading 4-2 bases loaded and no outs. Their ace, Zambrano, pitching but having control problems.

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        • #5
          Predicting the future, a baseball strategy!

          :applaud:
          Originally posted by ipitch View Post
          What inning was it? What was the score? If it's 3-3 in the bottom of the 9th, then you should let it drop. If the outfielder's team is up 10-3, then it's probably best to catch it.
          See this is the BEAUTY of BASEBALL... every pitch, every count every situation DEPENDS on the situation...
          That's why you have to be 100% ready to field a play before the play happens...
          A player NEEDS to KNOW what the situation is, what he needs to do if the ball comes to him and what he can do to help his team win if the next pitch is hit to him or another team mate... This is what I try and teach my 7-8 yr olds...

          Once you know the situation, then say to yourself, "if the balls hit to me, I need to either (this, this or this)"....the next thing you do is EXECUTE!

          You play it out in your head, and then the ball comes to you, YOU ACTUALLY THEN PREDICTED THE FUTURE...KINDA.... a true baseball fan/player will understand that remark!!:applaud: Think about that folks..Baseball is GREAT!!!
          the tribe will win it all before I die. I'm 36(when I origionally signed on to this board) now I'm 39 and still waiting!! Ahh!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by TallIndian View Post
            Thanks for the responses.

            It was the top of the sixth Cubs leading 4-2 bases loaded and no outs. Their ace, Zambrano, pitching but having control problems.
            You left out key information. Who was the hitter? Who was on deck? Who followed? How were these players hitting that day? How have they been hitting the past few days? How do they historically hit versus Zambrano? Was anyone warming up in the bullpen? If the game was in Wrigley, which way was the wind blowing? Are you starting to see how complex the decision can be? And it was all thought out ahead of time with "What do I do if the ball is hit to me?"

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            • #7
              There are alot of things that could have been going on. Usually if they aren't having problems scoring or always own the other teams pitching can help. Also if they were at home then its alot easier to win than on the road. The other teams pitching could be used up. Maybe they are all in slumps ... just a ton of things but then again maybe he messed up? Pretty much though getting outs in the majors is key they can't count on a pro hitter to mess up.
              “If there was ever a man born to be a hitter it was me.” - Ted Williams
              "Didn't come up here to read. Came up here to hit." - Hank Aaron

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              • #8
                Originally posted by TallIndian View Post
                Not sure if this is the right forum for this question, but saw a play in the Cubs/Pirates game. The Pirates had the bases loaded with no outs. The Pirates batter hit a ball to deep right field in foul territory.

                The Cubs right fielder -- Fukodome -- makes a running catch. However, the runner on third tagged and scored and the runner on second advanced to third.

                Shouldn't Fukodome simply let the ball drop?
                While we can all come up with multiple scenarios that might alter the decision making process of the outfielder, in reality, the down and dirty decision making of an outfielder in this situation was more then likely from the "read" he was getting from the positioning of the infield.

                With bases loaded and no outs, if the entire infield is drawn-in to get the lead run at the plate, then more then likely the outfielder will let the foul ball drop to maintain the force at the plate and not "give up the run", the reason the entire infield was drawn-in.

                If the infield is drawn-in at the corners, with the middle back at double-play depth, telling the offense that they are giving up the run to turn the double-play, then the outfielder will make the catch, allow the run to score, and KEEP THE RUNNER AT FIRST.

                By doing this, he is basically doing what the “double-play depth” infield is doing, that is; allowing the run to score, giving the offense a runner at third and playing the out(s).

                The only difference is that by making the catch, there is only one out instead of two, but the double-play is still intact, so the thought is the infield will “turn two” to get the final out of the inning without the run scoring from third. For the same final outcome of one run scoring in the inning.

                The odds are roughly the same if there were just a runner at third with two outs, or runners at first and third with just one out, either way the hitter needs a base hit to score the run, because most MLB infields are capable of turning the double play on most any ball hit to the infield.

                So knowing how the infield was positioned before the batter hit the ball deep and foul, would pretty much tell you how the outfielder would play that particular ball. Since he made the catch, I would guess, without seeing the game, that they were “corners in, middle back”.

                Do you remember their positioning?? It's the key as to why Fukodome made the play that he did.
                Last edited by mudvnine; 05-17-2008, 10:18 PM.
                In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

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                • #9
                  I'm bumping this thread because I was watching college softball today on ESPN, and this play happened. 1-1 tie, 2nd inning, bases loaded, one out, very good batter at the plate. Batter hits a deep fly ball, but foul. The left fielder lets the ball drop intentionally. Next pitch...........grand slam. D'oh!

                  You just can't do that in the 2nd inning.

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                  • #10
                    You never do that with Megan Wiggins at the plate.
                    efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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                    • #11
                      Geez, IPitch... good research to track this down. I was watching the game -- Cal vs. Georgia and saw the play. The important thing was that there was ONE out and the batter had two strikes, so there was a decent chance that the Cal pitcher could get the strikeout on the next pitch, or at least make the Georgia batter chase. Alas -- at least for those of us who are Cal fans -- the pitcher grooved the next pitch and the Georgia slugger hit the next pitch out. They interviewed the Cal coach after that inning, and she defended the play. If anything, it shows the Cal outfielder was thinking, even if she made a decision that ultimately turned out sour. I've seen MLB outfielders stupidly make that catch in a tie game in the 9th inning.

                      But, as Songtitle points out, you don't do that with Megan Wiggins at the plate. The outfielder should have taken the out and swallowed the lost run. It's so easy from up here, eh?
                      sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

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                      • #12
                        2 keys here as well! B-S count (2-2?). Bases loaded so the next pitch needed to be a strike. And if runner tags at 3rd Cal had an open base with which to pitch carefully to Alisa Goler on deck. One run in that situation would not have been a big deal. 4 runs are! Softball is now offensively comparable to baseball. One run does not kill you early in a game. 4 do, so in my opinion, you take the out everytime and then deal with the three hitter Goler with 2 outs and an open base, vs Wiggins on a bad count (and batting .666 in post season), with one out and Goler on deck.

                        If Wiggins fans and Goler pops up to end inning, we would also all be thinking this was a heady play! lol
                        Last edited by Dawgman; 05-31-2010, 07:46 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ipitch View Post
                          What inning was it? What was the score? If it's 3-3 in the bottom of the 9th, then you should let it drop. If the outfielder's team is up 10-3, then it's probably best to catch it.
                          Yup .... if it's a close game and you are going to make the catch you better be able to throw the runner out at home.
                          “If there was ever a man born to be a hitter it was me.” - Ted Williams
                          "Didn't come up here to read. Came up here to hit." - Hank Aaron

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                          • #14
                            Close game I would have let it go and taken my chances ...
                            "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
                            - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
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                            • #15
                              If you're not in an infield in with the intent of cutting down the runner @ home, I'd say you're playing to catch it and concede the run.

                              Of course game situation, more than hitter and count, is going to dictate that. With the bases loaded and no outs - that 1st out cannot come soon enough. You get it and you're a ground ball away from a possible inning ending DP and getting out of it with one run given up.

                              I think if it's in LF it's more of a no-brainer because the chances of keeping the runner at 2B from tagging and advancing are greater. Opponent probably is going to need a hit to put that 2nd run on the board (in an MLB game). If they get that, they'd have scored at least 2 anyway. I'd be equally as concerned with the runner at 2B advancing to 3B with less than 2 outs as the one that scores on the sac. fly.

                              No matter what though, that throw in has to be one that keeps the DP in order.
                              Last edited by shake-n-bake; 05-31-2010, 04:15 PM.
                              There are two kinds of losers.....Those that don't do what they are told, and those that do only what they are told.

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