Two Baseball questions:

  1. In baseball, what if a pitcher beans the batter by accident, and the batter tries to get out of the way, but the ball still hits the bat (without any swing) and the ball then pops up into the catcher’s mitt? Is that a Walk, Fly out, or Strike?

  2. Why did Gehrig bat 4th (Clean up) in the famed 1927 Yankees “Murderers’ Row”, and Ruth only 3rd? Wasn’t Ruth a bigger home run hitter? Why not let Gehrig fill the bases even more?

Your question is a little unclear. If the ball does not hit the batter, but JUST hits the bat, visibly pops into the air (e.g. with a definite arc, not just a foul tip) and lands in the catcher’s mitt, the batter is out. It’s no different than if the batter swung at the pitch and popped out.

If the ball hits the batter before it hits the bat (and the batter made an effort to avoid it, as you say, and presumbly was not leaning over the plate with his head in the strike zone) the batter is awarded first base for being hit by the pitch. That it hits the bat is irrelevant; the ball is dead once it hit the batter.

Ruth got on base more than Gehrig (or anyone else in baseball history except Ted Williams) and once Gehrig surpassed him, Ruth couldn’t run. The better hitter usually bats third, and Ruth was, initially, the better hitter. Anyway, once they were comfortable that way, why change it?

Here’s what the official rules say about getting hit by a pitch:
6.08(b) The batter becomes a runner and is entitled to first base without liability to be put out (provided he advances to and touches first base) when—
He is touched by a pitched ball which he is not attempting to hit unless (1) The ball is in the strike zone when it touches the batter, or (2) The batter makes no attempt to avoid being touched by the ball. If the ball is in the strike zone when it touches the batter, it shall be called a strike, whether or not the batter tries to avoid the ball. If the ball is outside the strike zone when it touches the batter, it shall be called a ball if he makes no attempt to avoid being touched. APPROVED RULING: When the batter is touched by a pitched ball which does not entitle him to first base, the ball is dead and no runner may advance.

So according to the description in scenario (1), the batter did try to get out of the way of the pitch and he did not attempt to hit the ball. Given these conditions, if the ball was not in the strike zone then the batter is awarded first base. If the pitch was in the strike zone then it’s a strike. And yes, the ball is dead once it touched the batter.

Aside from what RickJay said, having a hitter behind Ruth of Gehrig’s quality leads to better pitches for Ruth to hit. They can’t just walk him every time because the following hitter will make him pay for that.

When the Giants had no one decent to hit behind Barry Bonds, he walked a record amount of times - better to have him on first and the next batter hits a double play or other out then Bonds hits a home run every 7th or 8th time up (every other day more or less).

Same for Ruth.

I recall an old clip of Willie Stargell where he ducked and the ball hit the bat. Ump called foul ball, tho Pops and the catcher had a good laugh about it.

This happens a lot in youth baseball. They probably were laughing because kids are taught pretty early on to move the bat out of the way when you duck to avoid a pitch and a great player like Stargell didn’t.

I think you missed something. The ball never hits the batter, only his bat. The ball has to hit the batter before anyone can worry about awarding bases or calling the ball dead.

Moving to The Game Room from GQ.

General Questions Moderator

Bat to body to anyplace = foul ball
Bat to ground = foul ball
Bat sharp and direct to the catcher’s mitt = strike
Bat then a pop-up to the catcher’s mitt = foul-out
Body to anyplace = hit batsman

That still doesn’t happen infrequently.

Only if the ball stays foul or touches someone while foul.
Given the number of baseball games that have been played, I am absolutely certain that at least once a batter has tried to avoid a pitch, the ball hit the bat, and the ball ended up in fair territory (presumably with the catcher then picking up the ball and throwing out the batter/runner at first).

#1 sounds like a foul tip to me. It’s scored as a strike.

One other reason for Ruth to bat third apart from the good answers above is that by hitting your best batter third, you guarantee he’ll hit in the first inning, thus maximizing the number of times he’ll come to bat in the game.

I don’t know if this was one of the reasons why Miller Huggins and others bat him third, but it is a reason.

The OP said “beaned.” That means “Hit the batter in the head.” The question is ambiguous.

That doesn’t maximize anything. You’d have to lead with him to maximize his chances. There’s nothing special about where an inning ends as far as ABs go, so guaranteeing he hits in the first means nothing. It only matters where the lineup is when the game ends. If the 2nd batter makes the last out, then he’d have batted more than the 3rd guy.

Can you come with any scenario where the 4th batter would EVER have more plate appearances than the 3rd batter (other than the #3 leaving the game)? No. Thus, you’re maximizing Ruth’s ABs in relation to Gehrig.

Edit: Here’s a batting order outcomes tool. Please find me ONE instance of the #4 slot for any team in any year with more plate appearances than the #3 slot.

This is an odd way to use the word maximize. Yes, Ruth will always have more ABs than Gehrig, but batting third doesn’t maximize ABs.

Batting third allows a good power hitter a high number of ABs while still having good hitters in front of him, while also not handicapping those good hitters by batting them 8th and 9th. In essence it maximizes his RBI opportunities, by keeping both ABs and RISP high in relation to other batting positions.

It also guarantees he won’t bad leadoff in the second inning, with nobody on to drive in, or to distract the pitcher and catcher, or to force the pitcher to work from the stretch. Little things, but they add up.

You people forget that Gehrig was almost as good a power hitter as Ruth. Ruth’s OPS was only 0.084 greater than Gehrig’s. Ruth was the highest in baseball history, but Gehrig was third.

In addition, Ruth had established himself as the Yankee’s best hitter before Gehrig came up with the team. He was doing just fine as #3 in the batting order (Bob Meusel batted 4th before Gehrig), so there was no reason to move him to cleanup so the young Gehrig could bat 4th.