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A catcher is charged with a passed ball (abbreviated PB) when he fails to hold or control a legally pitched ball which, in the opinion of the official scorer, should have been held or controlled with ordinary effort, and which permits a runner or runners to advance at least one base; and/or permits the batter to advance to first base, if it's a third strike (with first base unoccupied and/or two outs). A run that scores because of a passed ball is not scored as an earned run. Neither a passed ball nor a wild pitch is charged as an error. It is a separately kept statistic.
To hit the ball hard. Often used in the past tense: "He pasted the ball."
Doesn't do a lot of first-pitch swinging, swinging at pitches out of the strike zone, or even swinging at strikes he can't hit because of their location and/or type. Generally gets a lot of walks.
An outfielder may be said to be "patrolling the outfield" (like a good soldier or police officer patrolling his assigned territory),
A catcher who keeps runners from stealing bases is said to be good at "patrolling the basepaths".
If after the pitcher from one team tries to bean or otherwise hit a batter, the opposing pitcher retaliates by trying to hit a batter from the first pitcher's team, it's a "payback". Such retaliation often happens when it is one of a team's stars who is the initial target; in such a case the opposing pitcher is likely to target the star player on the other team when he gets his first opportunity. Umpires may issue a warning if they think a pitch is intentionally thrown at a batter, and if such an attempt happens again by either team's pitcher, the pitcher is likely to be ejected from the game.
The decisive one in a series, e.g. the third of five (if one team has already won two) or the fifth (if both have won two).
A pitch thrown with a full count. The implication is that much effort has gone into reaching this point (this is at least the sixth pitch of the at-bat), and the pitch will either pay off for the pitcher (a strikeout) or the batter (a hit or a walk). However, a foul ball can extend the at-bat. The term is most often used when a hit will score a run and a strikeout will end the inning.
A AAAminor league that formerly had "open" classification (between AAA and major league) from 1952 to 1957.
A pitched ball thrown at high speed. "Clem can really fling that pea."
A brand new baseball that has been rubbed down with ball mud, causing the ball to no longer be bright white and instead is a pearl white color.
A hard line drive batted back at the pitcher.
A system for forecasting pitcher and hitter performance developed by Nate Silver of Baseball Prospectus. A player's "PECOTA" may be the forecasted range of his performance on a variety of indicators for the current or future seasons.
When the batter tries to see the catcher's signals to the pitcher.
To throw the ball to one of the bases. "The fielder pegged the ball to first."
A common pre-game exercise, where one player bunts to a nearby group of fielders; they throw it back as quickly as possible.
If Team A is in first place by less than half a game over Team B, Team B is said to be "within percentage points" of Team A.
A special type of no-hitter where each batter is retired consecutively, allowing no baserunners via walks, errors, or any other means. In short, "27 up, 27 down". A "perfect game" could involve multiple pitchers with one pitcher relieving another, but in the major league they are defined as being thrown by a single pitcher.
An inning in which a pitcher allows no runners to reach base.
Major League Baseball's designation for someone who is banned from MLB or affiliated minor league clubs, for misconduct. Permanently ineligible players are also ineligible for induction into the Hall of Fame. Banned individuals may be reinstated at the discretion of the Commissioner of Baseball.
A commonly used acronym for Pitchers' Fielding Practice. A session in which pitchers practice fielding bunts and other ground balls, throwing to a base, and covering first base and home plate.
Someone who is incorrectly listed in source materials as playing in a Major League Baseball game, although they did not actually play.
an erroneous call by an umpire in which a baserunner is ruled as having been tagged out when in fact the fielder never legally tagged the runner.
pick it clean
To field a sharply hit ground ball without bobbling it.
pick me up
Having made a mistake or failed an attempt, a player may ask a teammate, "Pick me up." Said in praise by a pitcher, "The guys picked me up with a lot of runs today."
pick up the pitch
A batter's ability to detect what kind of pitch is being thrown.
A series of 1's on the scoreboard, resembling a picket fence.
A park in which pitchers tend to perform better than they perform on average in all other parks; inverse of hitter's park. See park factor.
When the wind is blowing "in" at Wrigley Field, it is typically rendered a "pitcher's park", and a low score for one or both teams is not unusual. Under those circumstances, no-hitters also become possible at a park many fans normally think of as a "hitter's park".
Because of its large foul area (recently shrunk to add more seating), symmetrical outfield walls, and small "corners" near the foul poles, Dodger Stadium is traditionally known as a pitcher's park, especially at night, when fly balls tend to die more quickly than they do during the day.
The pitch the pitcher wants hit because he knows it will still most likely result in an out.
In games where the designated hitter rule is not in effect, or in DH rule games where a team has forfeited its DH, this term refers to the pitcher's turn in the batting order; its usage usually implies there is some possibility that the pitcher will not actually take his turn batting and instead will be replaced by a pinch hitter and by rule a relief pitcher.
A defensive tactic used to pick off a baserunner, typically employed when the defense thinks a stolen base play is planned. The pitch is thrown outside and the catcher catches it while standing, and can quickly throw to a base.
Generally refers to the second baseman. A second baseman often has to turn or pivot on one foot in order to complete a double play. A short-stop also sometimes pivots to complete such a play.
As a verb, plate means to score a run. "In the fourth our defense continued to hold and we managed to plate a couple runs in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game at3."
Any turn at bat is considered a plate appearance for computing stats such as on-base percentage, and for determining whether a batter has enough of them (minimum 3.1 X number of scheduled games) to qualify for the batting average championship. Plate appearances consist of standard at-bats plus situations where there is no at-bat charged, such as a base on balls or a sacrifice. However, if the batter is standing in the batter's box and the third out is made elsewhere (for example, by a caught-stealing or by an appeal play), then it does not count as an appearance, because that same batter will lead off the next inning.
A batter shows "plate discipline" by not swinging at pitches that are out of the strike zone, nor at pitches that are in the strike zone but not where he knows he can hit it. Such a batter might be described as a patient hitter.
When a batter strikes out five times in one game. Also called Olympic Rings.
The practice of assigning two players to the same defensive position during a season, normally to complement a batter who hits well against left-handed pitchers with one who hits well against righties. Individual players may also find themselves marked as a platoon player, based on their hitting against righties vs. against lefties. Casey Stengel brought some attention to the system by using it frequently during his New York Yankees' run of five consecutive World Series champions during 1949-1953.
"Platooning" sometimes refers to the in-game strategic replacement of batters in the line-up based on the handedness of a newly inserted relief pitcher, or conversely the strategic insertion of a relief pitcher to face a batter of the same hand. This is the logic behind having a LOOGY on the roster, for example. The LOOGY is to pitching what a pinch-hitter is to batting: put into the line-up for short-term strategic advantage.
Any small sequence of events during a game, never lasting long enough to contain more than one pitch, during which at least one offensive player could advance, or score a run, or tag up, etc., or could be put out. This includes, for example, a popfoul, during which it is possible for the batter to be put out, but advancing is not possible and neither is scoring. This term, "play", is mentioned (appears) in the article about the definition of an error.
Where the action is focused at a given time, in particular where a runner is about to reach a base or reach home, and the defense is attempting to get him out. An announcer might declare "There's a play at home", for example, if a runner is attempting to score and the catcher is about to receive a throw and attempt to tag the runner out.
To follow the conventional wisdom in game strategy and player use. For example, when to bunt or when to bring in the closer.
player to be named later
When two baseball clubs make a trade, part of the publicly announced deal may involve an unspecified "player to be named later" who is not one of the headline players in the deal. In some cases, the PTBNL is simply a financial payment equal to the annual salary of a base-level major league baseball player ($300,000 as of 2007).
A manager who is close to his players and whom the players consider a peer and a friend. The knock on players' managers is that they tend to not be disciplinarians and find it hard to make a tough decision in the team's best interest. Thus the term is not always complimentary, and many managers find they must maintain some aloofness in order to be effective. Joe Torre is often referred to as a player's manager; his approach can be effective with mature players who take their responsibilities seriously. Casey Stengel used to say the secret to managing was "to keep the guys who are neutral about you away from the guys that hate your guts."
The usual position depth taken by infielders when they're not anticipating a bunt or setting up for a double play.
When the infield is shallower than normal in order to attempt to throw out a runner on third-base on a ground ball. This does not allow the infielders to cover as much ground however, and can turn a routine ground ball into a base hit.
Any short set or series of games played after the regular season to determine a division or league champion. Also called the "post-season". Technically speaking, if a one-game playoff is required to determine who wins the regular season or the wild card (and thereby qualifies for the post-season) is counted as part of the regular season.
The plus sign (+) is an indicator that a starting pitcher began an inning and faced at least one hitter without recording an out. In the box score, the pitcher is said to have pitched x+ innings, where x is the number of innings completed in the game. For example if the starter gives up two walks to lead off the sixth inning and is pulled for a reliever, "5+" innings is recorded in the box score.
A pitch that is better than above average when compared to the rest of the league. Often the strikeout pitch.
plus plus pitch
A pitch that is among the best of its type in the league and is essentially unhittable when thrown well. Often a breaking pitch.
A player with above-average major league skills. A term from baseball scouting and player evaluation. See tools.
A hit. Referring to an extra-base hit or home run, a fan or announcer might exclaim, "That was quite a poke." A reporter might record a line drive as "Cameron pokes a shot into left field."
A batter with "pop" has exceptional bat speed and power. "Reggie popped one" implies that Reggie hit a home run. Example in baseball writing: "Ian Kinsler Proves He Has Pop to Center".
A pop-up is a batted ball that is hit very high and stays in the infield. Called a pop-foul when it falls or is caught in foul territory. Example: "Rondini popped it foul out of play" implies that Rondini hit a pop-up or pop-foul that went into the stands where a defender couldn't reach it.
Brendan C. Boyd and Fred C. Harris, in their impish commentary in The Great American Baseball Card Flipping, Trading and Bubble Gum Book, discussed a player who was known for hitting sky-high popups and said that "he could have played his career in a stovepipe".
A left-handed pitcher, so named because "port" refers to the left side of a ship. Synonym: southpaw
One of the nine defensive positions on a baseball team, consisting of (in scorekeepers' numerical order): (1) pitcher, (2) catcher, (3) first baseman, (4) second baseman, (5) third baseman, (6) shortstop, (7) left fielder, (8) center fielder, (9) right fielder. Positions3 through6 are called infield positions. Positions 7, 8, and9 are outfield positions. The pitcher and catcher are the battery. For purposes of the infield fly rule the pitcher and catcher are counted as infielders, and such a broader definition of infielders is commonly used, if only to differentiate them from outfielders. Players in positions2 through9 -- all positions except the pitcher -- are position players.
A defensive player also positions himself differently -- sets up in a different location on the field while playing his position -- depending on who is pitching, who is at bat, whether runners are on base, the number of outs, and the score of the game.
A hitter with a good power stroke is one who typically gets extra bases.
When a batter with a low slugging average suddenly appears to have gained that ability, he is "having a power surge".
A meeting on the mound between a coach and players to discuss strategy. See tea party.
A prep player is a draft prospect who is still in high school, e.g. "Nationals select prep right-hander Lucas Giolito 16th overall."
Used to refer to both major and minor leagues, especially on trading cards. For example, "Complete Professional Record" would include major and minor league seasons while "Complete Major League Record" would not. (Minor league players consider it an insult if asked when they'll "get to the pros".)
A pitcher who is scheduled to start the next game or one of the next few games is often described as a "probable pitcher".
When a batter makes an out but advances one or more runners in the process, he has made a productive out. In contrast, a strikeout or other out in which no runners advance is unproductive.
A scouting term for a young player with excellent tools who appears likely to develop into a productive or more powerful player in the future.
A manager may protest a game if he believes an umpire's decision is in violation of the official rules. An umpire's judgment call (i.e., balls and strikes, safe or out, fair or foul) may not be protested.
Public Enemy Number One
A good curve ball. Also may refer to a player who is hitting particularly well at the time.
To pull the ball is to hit it toward the side of the field usually associated with a full swing: a right-handed hitter pulls it left and a left-handed hitter pulls it right.
A strikeout. Named such because the umpire will typically make a punching-like signal on the third strike, especially if the batter does not swing at the pitch.
A brushback, intended to make the batter move away from home plate. A batter targeted by such a pitch is sometimes said to get a close shave. 1950s pitcher Sal Maglie was called "the Barber" due to his frequent use of such pitches. A sportswriting wag once stated that its "purpose" was "to separate the head from the shoulders".
A right-handed batter who hits the ball toward right field, ditto left, has "pushed" it.
The best situation for a "push bunt" is runners at first and third with one out (or no outs); if successful, the result will be a run scored, a runner on second, and two outs (or one).
put a charge on the ball
To hit the ball very hard, typically for a home run.
put a hurt
To hit the ball extremely hard.
To beat another team, especially by a decisive score.
A fielder who catches a fly ball, or who tags a runner may be said to "put away" his opponent. Similarly, a pitcher may "put away" a batter by striking him out.
A team may "put away" its opponent by making a decisive play or out, or by breaking open the game and gaining a substantial lead.