Four strikeouts in one half-inning

The pitcher isn’t credited with an assist on a strikeout, because delivering the pitch is considered an act of pitching, not an act of fielding. The catcher, however, is always credited with the putout, except when he drops the ball and needs to throw to first base. You don’t write the “2” on your scorecard because this is understood.

Not strictly true - in the case that he’s obviously out (ie. bowled) the batsman can start walking away, in which case he will officially be out, whether or not the fielding team appeals (or the umpire rules).

Knuckleballers make it feasible. They can throw some weird pitches ,that can fool the batter and the catcher.

What if there is a runner on first with less than two outs? Then the strikeout is automatic and counts even if the catcher drops the ball.

How does that fit into “the ball must be caught” scenario?

It would probably please you to know that Little League (ages 12 and under) works exactly this way. But that’s because these catchers can barely catch. They’re more like knock-down-and-retrieve-ers.

Over age 13, they start playing real baseball. I umpired a game for 15-16 year olds last week where 2 batters reached base on uncaught 3rd strikes.

I think it was Don Sutton who said, after an infielder nearly turned himself inside out trying to get out four via double play, “You can have four outs in an inning, but not on two double plays!”

Oh, yeah, I know; my oldest son’s a Little Leaguer (9 yo)…and it’s a good thing, because it seems like most of the scoring is a result of runners advancing due to pitcher/catcher gaffes. Makes for some long games…

Infield fly rule.


But somehow, Chuck Finley managed to record three four strikeout innings without a knuckleball!

Finley was a pitcher who struck out many per game. That’s what you need to set a record. He also pitched to some pretty poor hitters during that time. He didn’t face murderer’s row when he did this.

Wikipedia points out that Finley’s strikeout pitch was a splitter, so I’m thinking that was the top factor. He managed to have a four-strikeout inning while being caught by Sandy Alomar Jr., who was no slouch as I recall.

Actually, that’s an excellent comparison. With a runner on first, a dropped third strike could potentially set up a double-play if the batter was not declared out.

I’m not sure where you get the Sandy Alomar stuff from.

Unless I’ve screwed up, Finley had his last four-K inning with the Indians in 2000, and Alomar was probably the catcher.

…Unless the box score shows it was Einar Diaz.

Good on you, sport.

Finley, the next day, allowed as how they had a mix-up in signals.

Charlie O’Brien was the catcher the first time Finley fanned four in a frame, and in the second game, it was Bengie Molina.

As a possibly interesting aside, Finley was credited with two wild pitches in that first game.