The Basics Points
Similar to cricket, baseball is a competition between a pitcher (bowler) and batter (batsman). The pitcher needs to get the batter out while the batter needs to score runs. The team that scores more runs wins.
Each team has 9 players
Each team plays a minimum of 9 innings each. If the scores are level after 9 innings, extra innings are played till a winner is decided
The number of outs (wickets) in each innings are 3 per team
Understaning Batting In Baseball
If a batter hits the ball in play (ahead of the foul line), he HAS to run towards first base. A new batter will come up to home plate after him
A run is scored every time someone from the batting team crosses the ‘home plate’. This can happen only after the player crosses 1st, 2nd and 3rd base successfully.
Upto 4 players (1 batter + 3 runners) from the batting team can be on the pitch (on each base). This is known as ‘bases loaded’.
If the batter hits the ball out of the ground, it is called a Home Run. The batting team scores runs based on the number of players they have on the field. For example, if they have 4 players, they will score 4 runs.
Another strategy unique to baseball is called base stealing. Base stealing mostly occurs when a runner advances to the next base while the pitcher is pitching the ball.
Understand Pitching In Baseball
Strike Out – This is when the pitcher lands the ball in the strike zone and the batter misses three times in a row. If the batter swings and misses, it is also considered a strike no matter where the ball is. If the batter hits the ball behind the foul line, it is considered a strike EXCEPT on the 3rd strike, in which case he will get another hit.
Caught Out – Exactly like cricket, a batter is caught out when any player from the pitching team catches the ball without bouncing after the batter hits it.
Force Out/Tag Out – A batter or runner is forced out or tagged out while advancing bases. The opposition is able to get him out by throwing the ball to a fielder at the upcoming base or if he is ‘tagged’ by the member of the opposing team while attempting to reach the next base. It is possible to get two or three outs as well (referred to as a double-play and a triple-play).
‘Pitch Vs Ball’ And Walking
It is important to understand the terminology of baseball. A legitimate delivery is called a ‘pitch’ while an illegal delivery is called a ‘ball’. A ball refers to any delivery that lands outside the strike zone AND the batter does attempt to play it. Delivering 4 ‘balls’ to the same batter results in a ‘walk’ – which means the batter advances to 1st base freely. If a pitcher hits the batter’s body even once, the batter straightaway gets a walk.
Advance Rules In Baseball
All 9 players MUST bat in the same order as the team sheet. After all 9 players have had their turn, the 1st batter comes back to the plate. Each player typically bats 3 to 5 times in a game.
Most teams have a starting pitcher who pitches for a majority of the game and can be replaced by one or more relief pitchers for the rest of the game. Pitchers usually play every 4th or 5th game, and need to rest in between games. So it’s very rare that a pitcher will play 2 games in a row.