Saturday, January 14, 2012

Important Techniques in Baseball Game

Baseball is a warm weather game commonly called "America's Pastime," but it also also played in many other parts of the world. Baseball differs from games like basketball, football or hockey in that the offensive and defensive sides are completely different. Baseball is also different because the game doesn't use a time clock to count down the end of the game, meaning it is truly never over until it's over.
Baseball consists of two teams of nine players each, who compete on a baseball "diamond." The field is so named because home plate and the three bases are positioned to form a diamond. On a regulation baseball field, the bases are 90 feet apart and the pitcher's mound is 60 feet, 6 inches from home plate. To play the game, one team is on defense and one is on offense. The offense tries to hit the ball and score runs, while the defense tries to get the offense out. The game is played for nine innings, with each team going to bat in each inning. However, if the home team is leading after the top of the ninth inning, it does not come to bat again. If the score is tied, the teams go into "extra innings" until one team gains the edge and keeps it at the end of an inning. A team stays at bat until the defense records three outs.
In baseball, the offense and defense change every half-inning. The offense has a specific batting order for its nine players, and each takes turns going up to bat. While at bat, the batter tries to hit the ball that the pitcher throws, or get on base through a base on balls. The batter records an out if he gets three strikes against him during an at-bat. If he receives four balls, or pitches outside the strike zone at which he doesn't swing, before three strikes, he goes to first base with a base on balls. When a player reaches first base, and then moves all the way around the bases and touches home plate, it is counted as a run. Base runners run around the bases when the player at bat hits the ball.
The defensive team consists of nine players. These players are the pitcher, catcher, first baseman, second baseman, third baseman, shortstop, left fielder, right fielder and center fielder. The pitcher stands on the pitcher's mound and throws the ball to the catcher as the batter stands in the batter's box. It is the catcher's job to let the pitcher know what type of pitch to throw with hand signals, and to catch the ball when it's pitched. All of the fielders behind the pitcher make plays on the balls that are hit by the batter. Infielders catch ground balls and throw them to first base and outfielders catch fly balls and throw the ball back to the infield. A hit ball caught before it hits the ground is an out, as is a ball hit on the ground that a fielder throws to first base so the first baseman can step on the bag with the ball in his glove before the batter gets there.
As you become more familiar with baseball, you will notice certain statistics being mentioned in abbreviated form. Some of the more common stats you'll hear about include ERA, or earned run average, RBIs, or runs batted in, hits, home runs and errors. ERA is the average number of runs a pitcher allows over the course of nine innings. This is prorated if the pitcher does not stay in a game for the nine innings.
A run batted in is credited to a hitter who hits a ball that results in a teammate scoring a run. An error is when a fielder fumbles a routine play that the official scorer feels he should have made. A hit is when the batter reaches base on a hit ball during which no error was committed. A home run is a hit that clears the outfield fence, resulting in the batter and all base runners coming around to score runs. A player also can hit a home run that stays inside the fence by running the bases before the outfielder throws the ball back to a player in the infield.

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