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It happened at the bottom of the 5th inning between Baltimore and Seattle on June 30, 2016. With the bases fully loaded, a batter hit the ball to the right field and the third base runner scored a run, but the second base runner started late because he thought the ball could be caught by the right fielder and got forced out on the third base. The batter was not the one who was forced out.

What I don't understand is why it is not counted as a hit? I have been looking for a relevant rule, but I couldn't find it. Can you explain why it isn't a hit?

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This is covered by Rule 9.05(b)(1):

The official scorer shall not credit a base hit when a runner is forced out by a batted ball.

Also note that this

third base runner scored a run

is incorrect. The runner may have reached home base before the out was made, but no run is scored. Quoting from Rule 5.08:

A run is not scored if the runner advances to home base during a play in which the third out is made [...] by any runner being forced out.

  • In light of an edit, the reference to "scored a run" won't make much sense, but I believe an appropriate change in your answer will clarify why crossing home plate won't be counted as such. – Nij Jul 1 '16 at 11:49
  • @Nij Hi, thanks for your edit. The problem of editing a question is there is a possibility of making an answer posted earlier partly (or fully) invalid. I didn't clearly mention the fact that "the third base runner crossed a home plate" and I think that's why Philip answered this way. – user10632 Jul 1 '16 at 11:53
  • @Rathony I've edited the question to differentiate based on the answer itself. The runner crossing home can be assumed to have happe – Nij Jul 1 '16 at 11:55
  • @Nij I don't think you should edit a question based on an answer. I will roll your edit back. – user10632 Jul 1 '16 at 11:56
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    The last paragraph doesn't apply to the actual play in question. There was only one out at the start of the play. The runner forced at third was only the second out. The third out was not made on the play and the run did score. – Nate Eldredge Jul 2 '16 at 5:36
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OK. This actually happens a lot more than people think. The most likely case is with a runner on first. The ball is hit so hard into the outfield the fielder gets to it in a matter of seconds. This makes it very difficult to make it to 2nd in time.

In the case of the game you are talking about its like a sacrifice ground ball. Say the batter hit a ground ball to third or short and the fielder went to 3rd and got the force out but the run still scored. This would be considered a fielder's choice with the batter receiving a RBI.

Even though the ball was hit to the outfield they still went to third and it would be scored a fielder's choice with an RBI.

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Note that you have good answers - and this isn't an answer per se but too long for a comment.

However this rule is just stupid.

It is antiquated and has carried over because of MLB - at all lower levels I am sure they would change this and some leagues have rules overruling this (see later). MLB hasn't changed it because:

  1. MLB doesn't like to make changes that effected past stats. Which is just dumb because this literally hardly ever happens at the MLB level.

  2. Since it doesn't happen at the MLB level, no one gives a crap about it. The first time someone won or lost a batting title based on a baserunning error ESPN would do a documentary and MLB would happily change the rule.

I did scorekeeping for a few high school teams my sons played on. I told the coaches from the get go that I counted hits as hits, rules be damned. Doing otherwise doesn't let the stats reflect what is going on, on the field. Just like when giving out errors in baseball or assists in basketball it is about obeying the spirit of the rules.

Examples:

  • Men on first and second. Batter lines a one hopper to the left and the shortstop dives and catches the ball. Notices that runner from first is already at second. Runner that was on second was caught daydreaming and thought there was no one on first so decided not to try to advance. He would have been safe by a mile but is out on force. Why in the world would the batter have a "FC" on his score card. My score card shows "1B" for batter and baserunning error and out for the kid forced out at third.

  • Man on first. Batter hits a hard line drive to left. Runner was moving from the start. Leftfielder was playing in and picks up the ball clean off one hop and fires to second base for the out. That is a "FC". The batter caused the out. Highly unlucky but that is his out.

  • Man on first. Batter hits a bloop well over third baseman's head. Runner decides to tag when he should have been in the middle of first and second. Leftfielder doesn't get to it but fires to second and beats runner by a step. Again this is a hit "1B" and a baserunning error.

  • Now if someone is superbly slow... We had one player like that. He literally took 7-8 seconds on a good day to get to second with a lead off (and he wasn't fat so it fascinating). I charged him with 4 baserunning errors that year. It simply isn't measuring the hitter when he keeps getting forced out at second from the outfield. I kid you not one play the ball was batted between center and left and dumb "Chad" (yes he wasn't bright either) takes like 4 steps towards second then shifted his momentum back to first. The centerfielder had to backtrack big time so the ball didn't pass him. The batter probably had a 95%+ chance at a double and surely would have went for two. Chad got nailed.

In my opinion if you did this right you would set the right attribute to the right stat. For instance a batter who hits a one hopper to the right fielder and trips on his way to first, that is really a 1B and baserunning error. The at bat resulted in a "hit". The baserunning resulted in an out. So in conclusion the rule is absurd. If scorekeepers get to give a third basemen an error after he lays out for a ball but then bobbles it, well they can handle these obvious baserunning issues a few times a year. How you score things is up to your league and if your league doesn't have rules it is up to you.

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