Runner on base, batter hits a foul ball which is not caught. catcher throws ball back to pitcher, pitcher misses throw ball goes to outfield. can runners advance?


No. Runners can only advance on a "live ball", and as soon as a foul ball hits the ground or goes out of play, it's "dead" until that ball or a replacement is delivered back to the pitcher. The fact that the defense attempted to do so and failed changes nothing; at least until the pitcher has control of the ball it cannot become live.

  • What exactly does "delivered to the pitcher" mean? Does she have to catch it and have control, or merely touch it? If the ball goes off her glove, is it live or dead? – Nate Eldredge Nov 10 '13 at 4:06
  • Dead, provided it was dead as it was being thrown back. "Delivered to the pitcher" means the pitcher must have control of it, and be ready to "play ball" as indicated by the umpire. – KeithS Nov 14 '13 at 22:05
  • I see, thanks. So in a real game it would be clear to everyone that the runners could not advance, as the umpire would have called "Time" when the ball left play, and would not call "Play" until the pitcher had the ball. (Unless of course the person asking the question is the umpire!) – Nate Eldredge Nov 14 '13 at 22:09
  • Right on. Without an ump to signal live or dead, a foul ball that hits the ground is a dead ball until the pitcher has it back in his or her glove, and the pitcher and batter are staring each other down again. – KeithS Nov 14 '13 at 22:25

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