Suppose the game is tied 0-0 in the bottom of 9th with bases loaded and no outs.

If the batter hits the ball in play and the runner from 3rd reaches home plate before there is a force out at 3rd, 2nd and 1st (a triple play), then the run doesn’t count.

What if the runner at first is safe? Does the game end 1-0 with no outs or 1-0 with two outs?

If the play does not result in a forced third out, then the game ends when the winning run scores. Given the play description, it's almost certain that the force at third base happens before the run scores. It's unlikely but not impossible that the run scores before the force at second base.

So the most likely finish is 1-0 with two outs, but it depends on the order things happen.

  • In the given scenario, the run doesn't score until the batter reaches first, regardless of when the runner from third actually touches home. – chepner Jun 30 at 15:11
  • @chepner I don't think anyone is suggesting otherwise. The question explicitly assumes that the batter is safe at first. – BowlOfRed Jun 30 at 15:14
  • "but it depends on the order things happens" - what other order are you referring to? The question also explicitly refers to an attempted triple play, meaning forces are made at 3rd and 2nd before the (unsuccessful) play at first. Given the play described, it doesn't matter when, exactly, the lead runner touches home; the two outs are recorded before the run scores. – chepner Jun 30 at 17:35
  • If the run scored before the second out, I would not record the second out. I would mark the game complete with 1 out in the ninth. This is unlikely but possible if the runner from third had a big lead. – BowlOfRed Jun 30 at 17:52

The game cannot end on a winning run till the batter-runner reaches first base. Although this principle is not directly reflected in the rules explicitly, the following rule was put in place to cover game-ending home runs.

Rule 5.08b:

When the winning run is scored in the last half-inning of a regulation game, or in the last half of an extra inning, as the result of a base on balls, hit batter or any other play with the bases full which forces the batter and all other runners to advance without liability of being put out, the umpire shall not declare the game ended until the runner forced to advance from third has touched home base and the batter-runner has touched first base.

Although this only applies to cases where the runners must "advance without liability of being put out", I must surmise that this is because a game-ending home run or walk is far more likely and common than your scenario, which I believe is one of the few where this could actually matter, and then only for purposes of official scoring.

So the answer is that both outs would count, regardless of timing, based on extending the principle behind Rule 5.08b.

  • I don't quite see how that rule applies as it is relevant only when runners can advance "without liability of being put out". – Philip Kendall Jun 9 at 16:13
  • 1
    You are right. I think this is the right answer but wrong reason. I'll revise later. – Patrick Szalapski Jun 9 at 17:43
  • Revised to correct. – Patrick Szalapski Jun 11 at 2:45

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.