Sorry, I don't have a reference for this, but we studied this in Game Theory: statistically matching the outcome of equal opponents.
When you match any two opponents of absolutely equal skill, the contest should end a stalemate (i.e. the rules should not give advantage to one over the other).
In baseball, if a hypothetically "perfect" pitcher could throw every pitch at the outside corner of the strike zone, it is very difficult to hit the ball in play. Even the best batter is at a statistical disadvantage in that perfectly-matched contest. So, they make it so the batter doesn't have to hit the ball in bounds to keep the engagement in play — they need only make contact with the ball to keep from being called out.
That "good enough to try again" rule keeps the competition in better balance without inadvertently giving advantage of one player over the other because of an unbalanced rule.