Can a batter, after a foul tip on strike two, run for first base since it is a live ball? What happens if he stays at homeplate?.

  • If it's "foul", how can it be a "live" ball? Can you provide details to explain your question?
    – rrirower
    Commented Dec 19, 2016 at 21:08
  • 3
    @rrirower From the official MLB rules: "A FOUL TIP [...] is a strike, and the ball is in play." (my emphasis).
    – Philip Kendall
    Commented Dec 19, 2016 at 22:03
  • Thanks. I assumed foul meant the ball was dead since most times it's out of play.
    – rrirower
    Commented Dec 19, 2016 at 22:23

2 Answers 2


No, the batter cannot run. The ball is "live" for the purposes of the defense and any runners already on base, but it doesn't allow the batter to leave, and the batter is not in jeopardy of being put out.

This situation (foul tip on strike two) does not fit any of the criteria of 5.05, and therefore does not entitle the batter to become a runner.


The batter may only advance to first base on a dropped third strike. A foul tip may never become a dropped third strike, as if it is dropped it is treated as a regular foul ball (and thus is not in play), and if it is caught it is not dropped (and thus the batter is simply out).

The runner already on base may steal on a foul tip since he is already on base, and thus may treat a foul tip like any other pitch (the ball is in play). But the batter would be out as soon as the foul tip was caught and therefore could not advance.

  • I’m pretty sure a runner cannot steal on a foul tip. They can take extra bases, but only in the same way they could on any other foul ball - tagging up. But then it’s not a foul tip in practice if the catcher catches it - it is ruled a strike. It becomes a foul ball after it goes above a certain height - but then it’s a foul ball, and rules for foul balls are applied.
    – dgo
    Commented Feb 3, 2018 at 1:28
  • @user1167442 A foul tip is identical to a strike: the ball is still live, so a runner can steal (which is just a special case of advancing). The ball is not considered "caught" (so the runner does not have to tag up, for example). A foul tip is not a foul ball - you're confusing things.
    – Joe
    Commented Feb 6, 2018 at 17:37
  • Just so I'm clear - are you saying that a foul tip is for all intents and purposes - no different from a wild pitch or a passed ball? If so, this is news to me. Are you certain?
    – dgo
    Commented Feb 6, 2018 at 18:28
  • A foul tip is for all intents and purposes identical to a strike the batter swung through and did not contact. The incidental contact in a foul tip is basically ignored. Are you confident you know what a foul tip is, though? Your question above makes me think you aren't. A foul tip is a pitch that the batter swings at, makes incidental contact with, and then is caught by the catcher in his normal stance. It is identical to a strike in every way: if it occurs with a two-strike count, the batter is out, and the runner is free to run/steal as normal.
    – Joe
    Commented Feb 6, 2018 at 18:57
  • The distinction here is that the catcher catches it. If - in order to be considered a "foul tip", the ball must be caught - everything you said is correct. In retrospect, I think you are right - a foul tip must be caught in order for it to be counted as a foul tip. So - I am now slightly smarter and slightly less productive.
    – dgo
    Commented Feb 6, 2018 at 19:02

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