In football (and I'm sure many other sports) if you're a goal down, you can push up with more attackers, and put more pressure on the opponent to try and get a goal back. If you're leading by a goal or two, you can keep more men behind the ball and make it more difficult for the other team to score a goal.

In baseball, if you go a few runs down, can you change the way you play and become more offensive than you were before? Do the fielders change position? Does the batter swing at more pitches than he would have done before?

2 Answers 2


In baseball, if you are trailing late in the game, you can employ various strategies to try to increase your chances of scoring a run. Some of these include the following:

  • If a weak hitter or the pitcher is due up to bat, you can substitute a better hitter (a pinch hitter) for him to increase the chances of getting on base or hitting a home run.

  • If a hitter gets on base but is a slow runner, you can substitute a faster runner (a pinch runner) for him to decrease the chances of the runner being thrown out at another base and to increase the chances of him scoring from second base on a single.

  • If a runner is at first base, you can have the runner try to steal second base to get into scoring position. A runner at second base has the potential to score on a single.

If you are leading late in the game, you can employ various strategies to try to decrease the chances of the other team scoring a run. Some of these include the following:

  • Move your first and third basemen closer to the foul lines. This decreases the chances of a ground ball down the line for a double and a runner in scoring position.

  • If a runner is on third base and there's less than 2 outs, move your infielders in so that they have a chance to throw out the runner at home on a ground ball. (But if a runner is also on first base and there's one out, you would probably want to keep your infielders at double play depth so they can try to turn a double play on a ground ball.)

  • If a runner is on first base, keep your first baseman on the bag to allow for pickoff attempts. This will prevent the runner from having a huge lead making it easier to steal second base.


You can play baseball "defensively" by the construction of your team. That is draft and trade for good pitchers and defenders, even if their hitting leaves something to be desired.

When the Los Angeles Dodgers won "pennants" and World Series in the 1960s, they had three of the best starting pitchers, Don Drysdale, Sandy Koufax, and Claude Osteen. And most of their players (Maury Wills, Ron Fairly, Wes Parker, etc.) were noted for their defense.

On the other hand, their (low) team batting average was something like .245, meaning that they won their games by giving up even fewer runs than they scored.

Within a single game, if you're ahead two or more runs in the seventh inning or later, you put your best defenders on the field, even if they are not as good hitters as your starters.

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