What Does 6+4+3=2 Mean in Baseball?
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Insight Into the Game of Numbers
It is claimed that “baseball is a game of statistics,” and there are several numbers that the ordinary baseball fan may not be aware of. On the backs of players’ uniforms, on outdoor scoreboards, and throughout baseball’s terminology, numbers are prominent. There are double (and triple) plays, batting and earned-run averages, which need mathematical abilities to compute, as well as more current statistics such as on-base plus slugging percentages, which do not require mathematical skills. Baseball is said to as a “intellectual” sport for a variety of reasons, one of which is that it requires concentration.
This is something that fans love, and they look for box scores in newspapers or on the internet.
- Some baseball stats, on the other hand, appear to be reserved for baseball insiders.
- A drama of this nature is unusual.
- For example, the pitcher is represented by the number 1 and the right-fielder is represented by the number 9, as in 1 represents the pitcher and 9 represents the right-fielder.
- When you combine the same number sequence with some mathematical figures, the result is a completely different result.
- By adding the mathematical symbol(s) for the combination of 6+4+3=2, the formula shows a standard shortstop-to-second-to-first double play, which results in two outs on the play.
- Using the arithmetic symbols, the formula represents a single play that results in two outs being recorded.
Baseball Position Numbers In-Depth
Along with the position numbers, each defensive position has a shorthand denotation consisting of one or two capital letters, which is presented here with the numbers: P is equal to one (Pitcher) 2 + C = (Catcher) 1B + 3B = 1B (1st Baseman) 2B + 4 = 2B (2nd Baseman) 3B + 5 = 3B (3rd Baseman) SS = six sigma (Shortstop) 7 = LF (lower case) (Left-Fielder) CF + 8 = (Center-Fielder) 9 = RF (radio frequency) (Right-Fielder) In addition, because designated hitter is not a defensive position, he does not have a fielding number.
This player may be designated as a “DH” on lineup cards or scorebooks just to maintain track of the player’s participation in a game).
In the late 18th century, baseball pioneers Henry Chadwick and MJ Kelly came up with a numbering system that would assist the official scorekeeper in recording all of the game’s activity on paper sheets.
How Baseball Position Numbers are Used
Using numbers and shorthand enabled all potential at-bats in a game to be recorded on two pieces of paper (unless there are several extra innings), one for each team (unless there are numerous extra innings). For a nine-inning game, a scorecard may contain 120 squares, or even more, depending on the scorebook layout, ready for each player’s at-bat, which could take up to an hour. The names of the players would be listed at the far left of the rows, and to the right of the rows would be a series of little squares that would be filled in as each batter took his or her time at the plate.
- In the event that a batter puts the ball in play, is struck out, reaches base, or advances a base, the scorekeeper makes a record of it by placing notations along the baseline, where the activity took place.
- Due to the fact that the hitter was unable to reach base, no part of the diamond would be completed.
- The numbers separated by hyphens or the plus (+) symbol denote plays in which the ball was tossed between players between two or more players.
- Putouts performed without the use of a throw, such as a tagged runner, are denoted by the letter U, which stands for “unassisted,” as in 4U if the tag was made by a second baseman.
- A double might be represented by the letters 2B or H2 on the diamond line that represents the gap between first and second base.
- Strikeouts are also simple: either a K for a strikeout when the hitter swung the bat, or a backward K for a strikeout where the batter simply looked at the ball zipping past, is all that is required.
The Need for Scorekeeping Numbers in Baseball
This numerical system for keeping score is crucial for a variety of reasons, not the least of which being the fascination that baseball specialists have with statistics. In addition to tallying the scores of games, scorekeepers are often required for post-game review, such as assessing whether a ball in play should be judged a hit (which boosts a batter’s statistics) or an error by a fielder (which is recorded as a putout in reference to a batter’s averages). It is quite simple to keep track of at-bats and hits, as well as particular sorts of hits such as home runs, triples, doubles, and singles.
A shortstop’s (6) putouts and mistakes throughout the course of the game can both be tallied toward his or her total for the contest.
The final result is that game scorecards contain an enormous amount of information, including the number of balls and strikes thrown by each pitcher, as well how hard hitters are hitting the ball, and how many runs are scored.
Some scorekeepers distinguish line-drive outs from blooper or pop-up outs by drawing a straight or rainbow-like loop around an F9 putout — to note how the ball soared through the air — to differentiate between the two types of outs.
More Information about Baseball Scorekeeping Numbers
Players in a game may occasionally yell out a scorekeeping word in an attempt to razz a rival player. As in, “Here comes F9!” which signifies they are expecting a fresh hitter to hit a simple fly ball to the right fielder in the first inning. The letter K may be found all around stadiums, indicating that a large number of strikeouts are occurring or are predicted. The defensive position numbers are used by certain players and commentators to indicate the location of gaps between fielders on the field.
It indicated that he like to squirt grounders or liners between the third baseman and the shortstop on the infield.
And there is no limit to how lengthy a string of numbers may be if the ball is tossed all around the infield or even to outfielders who have crept into the infield area with the ball.
Regional, league, and individual scorekeeper preferences for the usage of hyphens or arithmetic figures between fielding position numbers can all influence how these numbers are shown.
Q: A designated hitter gets a position in the batting lineup. How come this player does not get a fielding number?
Answer: Because a designated hitter does not play a defensive position, he or she is unable to participate in plays that are recorded in a scorebook. Although not always the case, a “DH” is frequently written next to this player’s name in lineup cards or scorebooks in order to highlight where he or she fits into the game.
Q: Who scorekeepers games?
Ans: Scorekeeping is carried out by amateurs or volunteers who have no vested interest in the success of the game in which they are involved. Whether in the big or minor leagues, members of the sports news media are frequently called upon to score games. When it comes to youth baseball, the squad designated as the “home” club is often responsible for supplying a scorekeeper, who is typically a parent.
Q: What is a Designated Hitter?
Answer: A player who bats in place of a defensive player in the batting lineup, but who does not participate in defensive activities. Pitchers often aren’t excellent hitters because their practice time is devoted to pitching, and clubs don’t want to “waste” batting cage time on them, hence this term is most commonly used when a pitcher’s time at-bat has been scheduled. Players that are “DH’d” are those who play on the field but do not bat.
Q: Why is the shortstop listed as No. 6, when the infield numbers seem to flow right to left, from first to third base?
A: It’s most likely because defensive metrics were created before the shortstop was introduced into the league. While infielders used to stand directly on top of each base, today’s infielders are positioned in the area between the bases, a practice that dates back to the 18th century. It wasn’t long before there were so many base hits between second and third base that the new “shortstop” was assigned to that position. Before, there could have been four outfielders on the field, or a “rover” who would patrol between the infielders and outfielders to keep the ball moving.
Also see: What is the definition of D1 in baseball? (Click Here for the Answer) Is It Necessary To Drop The Bat When Playing Baseball? Is the size of all baseball fields the same?
What Are Position Numbers in Baseball? A Guide to Shorthand
Listening to a baseball game or reading about a baseball game, you may hear references to a hitter grounding into what is known as a “6-3 groundout.” Or, an inning may come to a conclusion with a “5-3 groundout,” among other things. Some of these terms may be bewildering to a novice or casual fan. Huh? 6-4-3? There’s a good reason for this, after all. The number allocated to each fielder on a baseball field is frequently used to identify plays that result in outs. This approach identifies the fielder or fielders who made the play, as well as providing a rough notion of where the batter hit the ball and the defensive players that were engaged in the play.
We’ll get right into it and explain what everything means.
What Are Position Numbers in Baseball?
In order to facilitate scoring and identification, the nine locations on the field have been designated by numbers (1 through 9) for well over a century. There is no connection between these designations and the players’ jersey numbers, and there is no connection between them and when they change baseball positions. Baseball players are assigned numbers starting with 1 for the pitcher and 2 for the catcher, followed by 3, 4, and 5 for first, second, and third base, respectively. Shortstop is assigned number 6, while the positions of left and center field are assigned numbers 7, 8, and 9.
Although the actual origins of the numbered system are unknown, it is believed that it was developed by Henry Chadwick, a 19th-century journalist who was responsible for the invention of the box score as well as many other long-standing baseball statistics.
It is possible that numbers were introduced for the sake of simplification.
In the same way, a fly out to center field can be printed as “F8” (a contemporary form of “8 fly”) without any more explanation.
What Is a Double Play in Baseball?
The most frequently encountered instance of baseball positions is in the context of a double play. We discussed the scenario of a 6-4-3 double play earlier in this chapter as an example of when you hear numbers and become confused. So, what exactly is a double play in baseball? When two players (most usually the batter and one runner) are retired on the same play, this is referred to as a double play. The vast majority of double plays occur as a result of a ground ball in the infield, in which a fielder retires a runner at second base before throwing to first base to retire the opposing hitter.
- The statistics from Major League Baseball’s truncated 2020 campaign shows that clubs turned 1,386 double plays in that season (0.77 per team, per game), with 1,245 (just under 90 percent) of them being ground-ball double plays.
- This indicates that the 6-4-3 (shortstop to second to first) double play was likely the most prevalent, but we do not have definite statistics.
- Aside from that, in 2020, there were two triple plays that were turned.
- In most cases, these are the consequences of a grounder to third base (the hot corner), which entails the third baseman stepping on the base and throwing to second, followed by the second baseman throwing to first, which results in the runner scoring.
- This was the case for one of the triple plays that turned in 2020, as well as all three that turned in 2019.
Since double (and triple) plays are so common in baseball, and because of the relatively tedious method of describing them without the use of numbers, commentators would frequently remark that a hitter “grounded into a 6-4-3 double play.” On traditional plays, though, they will rarely utilize numbers, instead referring to them as “a groundout to third,” “a flyout to left,” or “a flyout to right.” Defensive statistics, on the other hand, may be useful in both written and spoken contexts when trying to offer a concise summary of what transpired.
A GIDP, also known as a “Ground Into Double Play,” occurs when a hitter hits a ground ball into the infield and the defensive team gets two outs as a result of the hit. There must be at least one runner on base when the grounder is delivered in order for this scenario to occur.
Why Is Shortstop 6?
Shortstop is designated by the number “6” because, in the early days of baseball, the position was more of a shallow outfielder and cut-off man. This was mostly due to the fact that outfields were larger and baseballs were larger and lighter, making it more difficult for players in outfield positions to throw directly to the base paths.
What Does 6 4 3 2 Mean in Baseball?
6 4 3 2 is a baseball term that refers to a shortstop (6), second baseman (4), and first baseman (3) all turning a double play in the same inning. The number 2 in the phrase alludes to the number of outs that are produced by the combination.
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Baseball Positions by Number
Which numbers correspond to which locations on the x-axis? What do the numbers preceding a double or triple play mean? What is a 6-4-3 double play, and how does it work? Alternatively, what does the “3-4 hole” relate to? On a baseball field, there are nine positions that are designated by numbers. For the most part, while maintaining a scorecard, numbers are utilized instead of writing down the player’s or the position’s name. The following is a list of baseball positions organized by number: Pitcher, to begin with (P) Caught in the act of catching (C) 3.
- Second Base (also known as second baseman) (2B) 5.
- Infielder/shortstop (SS) 7th Baseman (Left Field) (LF) 8.
- It has taken me by surprise to discover how many charts in so-called baseball reference books get this incorrect.
- This seemed like a typo at first, but the error was repeated throughout the whole book, which led me to believe it wasn’t.
- With the baseball position chart shown above, I want to put any uncertainties to rest.
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Doug Bernier, the founder of Pro Baseball Insider.com, made his Major League debut with the Colorado Rockies in 2008 and has since played for five different organizations (the Colorado Rockies, the New York Yankees, the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Minnesota Twins, and the Texas Rangers) over the course of his 16-year professional baseball career. He has experience at every infield position in the Major Leagues and has played every position on the field professionally, with the exception of catcher.
Doug departed from professional baseball after 16 years and went on to work as a Major League scout for the Colorado Rockies for two years after his retirement. Doug works as the Data and Game Planning Coordinator for the Colorado Rockies at the present time.
Glossary of baseball (0–9) – Wikipedia
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“Oh, and,” says the narrator.
- In order to record the outcome of each play in their own shorthand, official scorekeepers give a number ranging from 1 to 9 to each position on the football field. The pitcher’s number is represented by the number 1. In baseball, the call of the number one denotes that the ball should be thrown to first base. Among pitchers, the number 1 is a frequent symbol (and moniker) for the fastball
- In other words, it represents the fastball.
An inning in which a pitcher only faces three hitters and none of them manages to reach first base safely. “Three points up, three points down.”
1-2-3 double play
One in which the pitcher (1) fields a hit ball and tosses it to home plate, where it is caught by the catcher (2), who strikes out the runner who has advanced to third. The catcher then throws to the first baseman (3) in order to force the hitter out of the game. When thebases are loaded, this nearly always happens to me.
1-6-3 double play
In order to force out a runner advancing to second base, the pitcher (1) fields a hit batted ball and throws it to the shortstop (6). In order to force the hitter out of the game, the shortstop throws to first baseman (3).
- The catcher, written in shorthand for scorekeeping
- If someone yells “Two!” it implies that the ball should be sent to second base. A “two-bagger” is an abbreviation for adouble
2–2–2 (2 balls, 2 strikes, 2 outs)
Seedeuces that have gone rogue.
- In scorekeeping slang, the first baseman is referred as as It is necessary to toss the ball to third base when “Three!” is shouted. A “three-bagger” is a triplet
- A triplet is a triplet.
3-2-3 double play
After fielding a hit ball and throwing it to the catcher (2), who throws it back to the first baseman to force out the batter, a runner advancing from third is retired by the catcher. When thebases are loaded, this nearly always happens to me.
3-6 double play
In this play, the first baseman (3) fields a hit ball, steps on first (to force the batter out), and throws to the shortstop (6), who tags out the runner on third base (5). Yet another scenario is that a line drive is caught by the first baseman, who then tosses to the shortstop, who then steps on second base to record a second out of the game.
3-6-1 double play
A hit ball is fielded by the first baseman (3), who tosses it to the shortstop (6), causing a runner at second to be forced out. In order to force out the batter, the shortstop tosses to the pitcher (1) (who is now covering first base due to the fact that the first baseman was occupied receiving the ball).
3-4-3 double play
An out is recorded when the first baseman (3) fielded a hit ball and passed it to the second baseman (4) in order to force the runner at second out. After that, the second baseman throws back to the first baseman in order to force out the hitter.
3-6-3 double play
A hit ball is fielded by the first baseman (3), who tosses it to the shortstop (6), causing a runner at second to be forced out. The shortstop then throws back to the first baseman in order to force the hitter out of the game.
- In shorthand scorekeeping, the second baseman is referred to as If someone yells “Four!” it signals that the ball should be tossed to home plate. A “four-bagger” is a home run that goes into the stands.
In a recent Cincinnati Reds broadcast, play-by-play announcerThom Brennaman apologized for an on-air homophobic statement and then stopped his explanation to report that Nick Castellanoshad hit a home run to make the game’s score 4-0, resulting in an internet meme. An example of how the meme is employed is in satirical or sarcastic reactions to perceived non-apologetic apologies, in which a portion of the explanation is repeated or paraphrased only to be interrupted by a copypasta of Brennaman’s solemn Castellanos home run call
4-6-3 double play
When the second baseman (4) fields a hit ball, he throws to the shortstop (6), who then throws to the first baseman (3), who strikes out the batter.
- Line between home plate and first base that starts 45 feet down the first base line and continues past first base is known as the first base line. It is against the rules of baseball to be in the path of a throw that begins at home plate and is outside the region delimited by the base line and the 45-foot line if the umpire judges the batter-runner has interfered with the play, according to the rules. If he stays within the line, he will not be called out for interfering with the proceedings. When a pickoff move is legal or not, this rule is used to determine whether the pickoff move was legal or not. This rule is designed to give catchers and pitchers the ability to field bunts and strike out batters-runners without worrying about the batter-runner intentionally or unintentionally interfering with the throw. Pitchers are allowed to take a step with their lead foot towards the base where they intend for the ball to be thrown if they do so inside the 45-foot line. The 45-foot line decides whether the step is towards the base or towards home plate. This only comes into play when the pickoff move is to the base that the pitcher naturally faces, such as third base for a right-hander or first base for a left-hander, among other situations.
4 wide ones
Four pitches in a row that are intentionally outside of the strike zone.
Stan Musialas received a summary of this technique from Preacher Roe. In the beginning, I throw him four wide passes and attempt to pick him off.
In shorthand scorekeeping, the third baseman is referred to as
- The space between a player’s legs (particularly the catcher’s). The expression “through the five hole” refers to the method through which a puck is moved past the goalkeeper in hockey.
The distance between the third baseman (5) and the shortstop (1). (6).
5-4-3 double play
a third baseman (5) fields a hit ball and tosses it to the second baseman (4) in an attempt to force out an on-base runner who is advancing from first base. The second baseman then throws to the first baseman (3) in an attempt to force out the hitter from the game.
5-4-3 triple play
When a hit ball is fielded and stepped on third base to force out a runner moving from second, the third baseman (5) throws to the second baseman (4), who throws to the first baseman (5) to force out a runner moving from first. The second baseman then throws to the first baseman (3) in an attempt to force out the hitter from the game.
One who excels in the following positions is a position player (non-pitcher) such asWillie Mays, Andre Dawson, Duke Snider, Vladimir Guerrero, orKen Griffey, Jr.
- Base running, throwing, and fielding are all important aspects of hitting for average and power.
In shorthand scorekeeping, the shortstop is referred as as
6-4-3 double play
The shortstop (6) fields a hit ball and tosses it to the second baseman (4), who forces out a runner advancing from first and then throws it to the first baseman (3), who forces out the batter batting in the next at bat.
In scorekeeping shorthand, the leftfielder is referred to as
7-2, 8-2, or 9-2 double play
A fly ball is caught by an outfielder, and a runner tries to tag up and score from third base but is tagged out by the catcher as he approaches the plate.
In scorekeeping shorthand, the centerfielder is referred to as
In scorekeeping shorthand, the rightfielder is referred to as
9 to 0
The official score of a game that has been forfeited in Major League Baseball.
A sort of curveball whose motion is reminiscent to the movement of the hands of a clock.
Players who hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases in a single season are considered to be elite.
The number of home runs and stolen bases reached by a player in a single season is 40. An unfavorable word used to describe a pitch that bounces less than 60 plus 2 feet between the pitching rubber and the plate.
When a runner advances one base, he is said to have “moved up 90 feet,” which is the distance between the next two bases. A runner on third base is “90 feet away” from bringing in the winning run.
By the end of June Thrash (SouthLake,TEXAS USA) What exactly does it mean when the announcer states that the team has turned a 4-6-3 double play on you?
COACH HENZE’S ANSWER
June, thank you for your question. It is the numbering system used by defensive baseball players that is referenced when a baseball announcer states that the defense has just turned a 4-6-3 double play. Each defensive position is identified by a number that is used to refer to it. The following are the positions on a baseball field, along with the appropriate location on the field:
- Baseball positions are as follows: pitcher (number one), catcher (number two), 1st baseman (number three), 2nd baseman (number four), 3rd baseman (number five), shortstop (number six), left fielder (number seven), center fielder (number eight), right fielder (number nine).
An example of a 4-6-3 double play is when the second baseman (4) fields a ground ball and throws it to the shortstop (6) at 2nd base, who then throws the ball to the 1st baseman (3) at first base, who makes the 2nd out and ends up with the runner at first base.
These statistics are used to record any outs that are recorded in a baseball scorebook, whether they are intentional or not. Here are a couple of more illustrations:
- 3rd baseman received the ground ball and threw it to the 1st baseman for the out
- 5-3 put out– 3rd baseman fielded the ground ball and sent it to the 1st baseman for the out
- 5-3 put out– 3rd baseman fielded the ground ball and threw it to the 1st baseman for the out
- In the eighth inning, the hitter hit a fly ball to the center fielder, who caught it for an out. 3-6-3 Ground Ball Double Play– The first baseman received the ground ball and threw it to the shortstop at second base for the first out, and the shortstop threw it back to the first baseman for the second out, completing the double play.
I hope this has helped to clarify some of the stuff you’ve been hearing from baseball broadcasters on the radio and television. Baseball has a lot of tiny eccentricities, and understanding them all is half of the joy of playing the game. If you’ve been watching baseball, you should find it a bit more intriguing now, shouldn’t you? Thank you for posing the question! Take our quiz to find out for sure. More quizzes may be found here: Baseball Tests and Quizzes MYB readers receive a special discount: With a Baseball Zone Membership, you’ll get access to more than 200 baseball workouts, 100 videos, and dozens of practice programs.
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A double play (abbreviated as DP on stats sheets) in baseball is the act of getting two outs in the same continuous playing action. Double plays are referred to as “turning two” in baseball lingo, or, as Ernie Harwell put it, “two for the price of one” in his famous phrase.
Types of Double Plays
Double plays are most frequently encountered when a runner is atfirst base and a ground ball is hit towards the center of theinfield. After stepping on second base before the runner from first arrives to force that runner out, the fielder (often the shortstop or second baseman) tosses the ball to first base in order to force out the batter, resulting in a successful second out. This type of double play is known as a “6-4-3 double play,” named after the numbers assigned to each player in order of field position; on the other hand, if the ball is hit to second base and then thrown to shortstop, it is referred to as a “4-6-3 double play,” which is short for “fourth, third, and sixth” (6-shortstop, 4-second base, 3-first base; seebaseball scorekeeping).
- When a ground ball is hit to the pitcher, double plays can occur as well.
- Ground balls to the shortstop or second baseman, respectively, result in 6-3 and 4-3 double plays, respectively, when the fielder takes the ball for an unassisted putout at second before throwing to first base.
- To avoid a force at first, the shortstop can return a throw to the first baseman, who is still in position to eject the force at first.
- In addition, the first baseman may elect to retire the batter at first base before throwing to the shortstop at second, who then tags the runner who has advanced from first base to second (tag because the force has been removed).
When a sacrifice bunt is attempted, it is possible that the ball is laid down in such a sloppy manner that a charging pitcher, first baseman, or catcher (the typical initiators of such plays) fields the ball, throws to second base to force a runner, and the shortstop (the typical fielder at second base on a bunt play) then throws to the fielder covering first base (usually the second baseman) to strike out the batter.
As long as there is a runner on first base, and the hitter does not bunt a fly ball fair as an infield fly, the infield fly rule that protects baserunners is no longer in effect.
Rare Double Plays
When a fly ball or a line drive is hit to the outfield or infield and caught, a double play can occur when a runner on the basepaths strays too far away from his base, resulting in another double play. Runners are out as well as batters in a double play if the ball is tossed back to the starting base before the runner returns or tags up to proceed to the next base. In an astrike-’em-out-throw-’em-outdouble play, the catcher throws out a baserunner who is attempting to steal second (2-6, generally) or third base (2-5), or possibly another intricate rundown play, immediately after the batter has swung and missed at the third strike or taken a called third strike.
- It is deemed a double play if the pitcher tags the runner before he has a chance to score on the play.
- The vast majority of outfield assists are earned on such plays, and even the most accomplished outfielders only make approximately twenty of these plays every season.
- According to the rules of baseball, a double play is completed when the pitcher retrieves the ball and throws to a base that the runner has left too soon; on appeal, the base runner who left too soon is called out on an appeal play.
- A sharply hit ball down the first base line is fielded by the first baseman, who then fires to home plate to force the runner in from third.
During Game 7 of the 1991 World Series, a double play of this nature finished the top half of the eighth inning: In the ninth inning, with one out and the bases loaded, Atlanta’sSid Bream smashed a ground ball into the glove of Twins first basemanKent Hrbek, who retrieved it and tossed it to catcherBrian Harper, who struck out Lonnie Smith.
Another type of double play is the “1-2-3 double play,” in which the pitcher initiates the play by fielding a ground ball and throwing it to the catcher, forcing a runner from third base, and the catcher then completes the double play by throwing to first base to strike out the batter, which is a relatively uncommon occurrence.
It is also uncommon to see an unassisted double play, which often occurs when the second baseman or shortstop makes the catch of a soft, low line drive to retire the batter and then steps on second base to put out the runner (with an evident appeal) before he can tag up.
An unassisted double play can occur at any position on the field, including first and third base, although it occurs most frequently at second.
For every 100 double plays that result in a 6-4-3, there are the following:
- 83 players who go 4-6-3
- 53 players who go 5-4-3
- 27 players who go 6-3
- 20 players who go 1-6-3
- 19 players who go 4-3
- 9 players who go 3-6-3
- 5 players who go 3-6-1
- 4 players who go 1-4-3
- 4 players who go 3-6
- 1 player who goes 3-6-4
Among the most important skills a second baseman can possess is the ability to “make the pivot” on an infield double play, which is defined as receiving a throw from the third-base side, then turning and throwing the ball to first in time to force out the batter while avoiding being run into by the batter. At the time of this writing, Cal Ripken, Jr. owns the big league record for the most double plays grounded into in a career, having turned in 350 of them. He also owns the record for the most double plays turned in by a shortstop in the American League.
A triple play occurs when three outs are recorded during the same continuous playing action.
- James and Bill are two of the most well-known members of the James family (2002). The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract is a new publication by Bill James. The New York Times
- The Washington Post
(See Granny Hamner’s statement in SS76.) (See also SS76.)
From 6-4-3 to 1-2-3: Ranking the 17 types of double plays
28th of August, 2018
- Columnist and feature writer for ESPN’s baseball coverage Co-author of “The Only Rule Is That It Has to Work,” a book on the former editor-in-chief of Baseball Prospectus.
Is there a correct method to rank the 17 various types of double plays in baseball? I’m not referring about your bespoke4-3-7-2s and5-2-6-5s, or your exceedingly rare1-unassisteds, for instance. These are 17 regular, repeating sequences that you’ve seen hundreds of times each, which has given you enough experience to form opinions on them. I gave them a ranking. Then I lost those ranks and regained them a few days later by re-ranking them. Then I discovered the old rankings and saw that my rankings had shifted, and I was humiliated at the prior version of myself who had made such a fool of myself by miscalculating the double plays.
Despite the fact that they are all worth two outs, there are some aspects inside those two-out performances that are unmistakably good.
Two clearly top double-play experiences exist, and none of them is the traditional 1-2-3 format. The 1-2-3 double play, on the other hand, is the finest double play for the following reasons:
- It has the greatest amount of kinetic energy. However, the 1-2-3 is a pinball stuck between two walls, with the ball ricocheting back and forth (pitcher to batter to pitcher to catcher) before squirting out at an angle (first base) to burn off its remaining energy
- There are more fluid double plays available. Even though baseball is a team sport, the pitcher is the closest thing the field has to a single hero, and the 1-2-3 is the steepest narrative arc this hero can go through: Although he has put himself into a nearly impossible scenario (by definition, bases are loaded with less than two outs
- In most cases, there are none), he manages to pull himself out of it with the 1-2-3 by fielding the ball and tossing it into the outfield. Aside from a triple play, there aren’t really any swings in run expectation that are more significant than a 1-2-3 double play, and in this case, the pitcher essentially says, “I’ll do it myself, and then let’s go home.” It’s as simple as 1-2-3! The fact that the catcher was in position one and the pitcher was in position two would not make a 1-2-3 GIDP have the same impact on my enjoyment of it
- But, the fact that a 1-2-3 GIDP was actually a 2-1-3 GIDP would.
(By the way, if none of these numbers make any sense to you, here’s what each position is numbered for the sake of baseball’s record-keeping:
2. Fly out, runner thrown out trying to score after tagging
The first out, which occurs on the catch, is almost always a foregone conclusion, but we must wait for the fly ball to reach its peak and then fall back to earth before the second stage can commence. You can make any combat more stressful by pausing it, by forcing all of the participants to merely gaze at each other until they are permitted to attack, and that is exactly what a regular fly ball does to the man on third base. When a sacrifice fly attempt is made, the idea is that the runner will be unharmed.
A fly out/throw out double play not only prevents a run from scoring, but it also removes a run from the viewer’s mental scoreboard as soon as the runner leaves third base.
3. Strikeout plus caught stealing
The act of naming things has tremendous power, not just in terms of what we call things, but also in terms of the fact that we name them. Because it is one of only two double plays we have given names to, it distinguishes itself from all other double plays that are essentially sequences of numbers. The strike ’em out, throw ’em out double play is the second of the two double plays we have given names to. But it isn’t simply the name that makes it so great; it is also the design. It has been given this name since it is fantastic.
The most effective of them are referred to as third strikes: The mirrored disdain of the hitter and baserunner is accompanied by the mirrored punchouts of two umpires.
We’ve clearly given the 4-6-3 a better ranking than the 6-4-3, and here’s why: The little shovel throw made by the second baseman is a delectable delicacy that is underappreciated. It’s a concept that doesn’t really exist anywhere in baseball. The shortstop who came over the bag would grab the ball against the outside of his glove, pinning it to his broad rear in order to make a quicker transition. When we were youngsters, we’d rehearse that play all the time. That’s not something that happens in real life, but it’s still funny.
Relays are obviously used throughout baseball, but they are the types of relays that go like this: I want to throw it over there, you’re on your way over there, so I’ll throw it to you, and then you’ll keep the line moving.
The 4-6-3, on the other hand, is a strategic aberration, the only normal move that crosses over itself: the second baseman tosses the ball away from its eventual destination, knowing that the shortstop will be approaching him to redirect it.
The movement of a 4-6-3 double play, on the other hand, draws a 4: And that is really stunning.
5. 3-2, with the first baseman stepping on the bag before he throws
Because the ball hit to the first baseman always appears to be on its way to being a double down the line, this is one of the most rapid perception-change plays in baseball: Also, because – well, let’s just go on to the next one:
6. 3-6, with the first baseman stepping on the bag before he throws
Due to the fact that double plays in which the force has been removed are always more entertaining. Because the base behind the runner has been abandoned, the runner is no longer ‘forced’ to proceed ahead, and the moment of awareness you experienced when you first heard the rule has never completely faded from your memory. When you watch the first baseman step on the bag, your brain is filled with neurochemicals, similar to the ones produced when you consume Sichuan peppercorns or see your own birthdate in a historical document.
In this situation, the first baseman has that really difficult throwing lane that runs directly over the baserunner’s left shoulder, and as a result, he is likely to sink down a little bit, making his left-handedness particularly horizontal and obvious.
On this particular play, there is a significant rate of inaccuracy.
Simply put, it was a fantastic performance.
The other double play has its own name, however it is likely that the term refers more to the act (throwing the ball around the horn, whether in the context of a double play or not) than it does to the double play itself. In spite of this, the 5-4-3 is a solid, crisp double play, with two right angles and two firm throws from a back-foot pivoting position. The movement of the ball does not produce a 4, but it does produce a little nightstand that appears to be capable of supporting a significant amount of weight:
The first baseman throws home and then jogs over to cover his base for the second baseman. We’ll include any other infielder-to-home plate appearances (6-2-3, 5-2-3, 4-2-3) in this category as well, but the 3-2-3 has the clearest lines. Although it is not the most visually appealing play, it rates highly in terms of the stakes and the amount of effort necessary; there is almost probably a tight play at first here, as well as the possibility of the runner coming home on the slide cutting the legs out of the catcher’s pivot.
A throw is made to second base by the first baseman, who then sprints back to protect his own base. As opposed to the 3-6 (tag) double play, this one does not often need the same tightrope throw to second base as the 3-6 (tag) double play necessitates because the first baseman is not throwing straight into the running lane. Furthermore, the absence of a difficult tag at second base eliminates the element of surprise. In addition, as compared to the equivalent 3-2-3 play, the risks, rewards, and hazards are a little smaller in this game.
It’s possible that it’s the only routine act in baseball in which a player tosses the ball towards someone who isn’t looking at him at the time of throwing. This little moment of naïve faith is one of my favorites.
10. 5-3, third baseman touches the bag
This has the advantage of resulting in some stunning hucks, as the third baseman gets a head start on his throw and the throw then neatly bisects the infield diamond, as shown in the video above. Although it would be higher on the aesthetics scale, half of 5-3 double plays result in no one being out, which indicates that a triple play is a possibility. It’s hard not to get carried away when the ball is struck directly at the bag. When the third baseman throws to first base instead of second, your hope is shattered in a split second.
11. The fly ball, runner doubled off before he can get back
This is ranked quite low because the most of them are monotonous: The runner either misreads the ball or loses track of how many outs he has left, and what should have been a straightforward catch turns into a slow-motion double play. You can know this is a tedious defensive play because once the second out is made, the TV coverage will cut to the abashed face of the doubled-up runner, rather than a fielder, to emphasize the point. It’s nothing more than a blunder that the defense is lucky enough to see.
A race between a 100 mph throw and a 20 mph runner has an almost Planet Earth feel to it, and the tension is heightened even further by the fact that (unlike when the runner is attempting to advance) it is a forceout.
Oh, wow, is it entertaining to watch:
12. The sac bunt double plays: 1-5-3, 2-6-3, 3-5-4, etc.
It was quite gratifying. This double play, more than any other, necessitates two really hard throws – there are no short throws, and there is usually no time to spare. Any x-5-x variation is extremely enthused, with the third baseman virtually firing off his bag to grab the ball and make the throw to first base on many occasions.
I understand that this is the Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance double play, and I realize that I’m going against the grain here, but I don’t like the pivot at second. Even the quickest ones cause everything to move more slowly. To my eyes, it seems to be a kink in a hose. However, that was a fantastic double play.
14. Lineout/double play
You know, there’s really no good reason for a lottery ticket to have numerous numbers on it, is there? They could simply say, “Pick a number between one and whatever billion and we’ll tell you whether or not that is the number,” but instead they have the six numbers or the three scratch-off fields or the second-chance games, because it’s no fun to know whether or not you’ve won or lost immediately after entering the game. You’re looking for drama, a small tale of buildups before the final outcome is known for certain.
Sometimes there is a sprint back to the bag, which may be entertaining, especially if it is a race between the first baseman who has the ball and the scrambling runner who is trying to get to first base.
That demonstrates how little drama there is in this situation. In fact, they didn’t even bother to include any supporting characters in the plot. Furthermore, these are frequently horribly unfair.
It’s too frightening! Pitchers are rarely expected to perform tasks that require extreme athleticism, but here is a play that is so physically demanding that it may nearly be considered its own specialty sport: Tune in to the world championships of Covering First, in which athletes sprint at full speed for 57 feet before coming to a complete stop in the final three feet, stabbing their feet at a hard rubber base while spinning 135 degrees to catch a throw fired 85 or 90 mph through a congested baseline, all while a faster runner running on a non-parallel line tries to step on roughly the same spot on the hard rubber base, all while a faster runner running on If you built baseball and then said, “Oh, but the problem is that all of the pitchers get hurt,” everyone would assume that they were getting harmed not by pitching but by 3-6-1’s instead of by throwing.
16. 6-3 (or 4-3), with the middle infielder tagging the base himself and throwing to first
Until now, we’ve mentioned nearly a dozen factors that can make a double play particularly endearing: the athleticism on display, the strength of the throw, the challenge of the catch, the delicacy of the tag, the specific stakes, the turnaround it represents, the tension of the timing, the closeness, the angles/fluidity/aesthetic beauty, the potential for reaction (on either side), or the fact that some skill is used for this double play that is essentially exclusive to However, with the exception of few very athletic individuals, this double play lacks all of these characteristics.
It’s otherwise a standard ground ball and throw, with no drama on either end of the field and minimal interaction between teammates.
Because the ball is fielded so rapidly, the entire game is decided by whether or not a pitcher can toss a ball to second base. and the ball ends up in the center of the field around 80 percent of the time. Thank you to Daren Willman and Meg Rowley for your help with this project.