Sacrifice fly

In baseball, a sacrifice fly (sometimes abbreviated to sac fly) is defined by Rule 9.08(d) [1]: "Score a sacrifice fly when, before two are out, the batter hits a ball in flight handled by an outfielder or an infielder running in the outfield in fair or foul territory that

  1. is caught, and a run scores after the catch, or
  2. is dropped, and a runner scores, if in the scorer's judgment the runner could have scored after the catch had the fly ball been caught."

It is called a "sacrifice" fly because the batter allows a teammate to score a run, while sacrificing his own ability to do so. Sacrifice flies are traditionally recorded in box scores with the designation "SF".

Rules

As addressed within Rule 9.02(a)(1) of the Official Baseball Rules[1] a sacrifice fly is not counted as a time at bat for the batter, though the batter is credited with a run batted in.

The purpose of not counting a sacrifice fly as an at-bat is to avoid penalizing hitters for a successful action. The sacrifice fly is one of two instances in baseball where a batter is not charged with a time at bat after putting a ball in play; the other is the sacrifice hit (also known as a sacrifice bunt). But, while a sacrifice fly doesn't affect a player's batting average, it counts as a plate appearance and lowers his on-base percentage. A player on a hitting streak will have the hit streak end if he has no official at-bats but has a sacrifice fly.

The reason for this is that the sacrifice fly, unlike the sacrifice bunt, is not considered a tactical maneuver (players don't try to hit a fly ball to advance a runner—they are unable to do that consistently anyway). Unlike a sacrifice bunt, which may be scored if a runner advances from any base to any base, a sacrifice fly is only credited if a runner scores on the play. Therefore, when a runner on first or second base tags on a fly ball and advances no further than third base, no sacrifice is given and the batter is charged with an at-bat. Also, if a runner tags and advances from second base (or, theoretically, from first base) all the way to home and scores (without an intervening error) the batter is credited with a sacrifice fly, as well as a second RBI if a runner on third also scores. At the professional level this will only typically occur in unusual circumstances that prevent the defense from making an immediate throw back to the infield, such as an outfielder colliding with the wall while making a catch on the warning track.

The sacrifice fly is credited even if another runner is put out so long as the run scores. The sacrifice fly is credited on a dropped ball even if another runner is forced out by reason of the batter becoming a runner.

On any fly ball, a runner can attempt to advance bases right as soon as a fielder touches the ball by tagging up, even before the fielder has full control of the ball.

Records

The most sacrifice flies by a team in one game is five; the record was established by the Seattle Mariners in 1988, tied by the Colorado Rockies in 2006,[2] and tied again by the Mariners in 2008.[3]

Five teams have collected three sacrifice flies in an inning: the Chicago White Sox (fifth inning, July 1, 1962 against the Cleveland Indians); the New York Yankees twice (fourth inning, June 29, 2000 against the Detroit Tigers and third inning, August 19, 2000 against the Anaheim Angels); the New York Mets (second inning, June 24, 2005 against the Yankees); and the Houston Astros (seventh inning, June 26, 2005 against the Texas Rangers).[4] In these cases one or more of the flies did not result in a putout due to an error.

Since the rule was reinstated in its present form in 1954, Gil Hodges of the Dodgers holds the record for most sacrifice flies in one season with 19, in 1954;[5] Eddie Murray holds the record for most sacrifice flies in a career with 128.[6]

As of the end of the 2018 season, players who had hit 115 or more career sacrifice flies:

1. Eddie Murray (128)
2. Cal Ripken, Jr. (127)
3. Robin Yount (123)
4. Hank Aaron (121)
4. Frank Thomas (121)
6. George Brett (120)
6. Rubén Sierra (120)
8. Rafael Palmeiro (119)
8. Daniel "Rusty" Staub (119)
10. Andre Dawson (118)
11. Don Baylor (115)

Only once has the World Series been won on a sac fly. In 1912, Larry Gardner of the Boston Red Sox hit a fly ball off a pitch from the New York Giants' Christy Mathewson. Steve Yerkes tagged up and scored from third base to win game 8 in the tenth inning and take the series for the Red Sox.[7][8]

History

Batters have not been charged with a time at-bat for a sacrifice hit since 1893, but baseball has changed the sacrifice fly rule multiple times. The sacrifice fly as a statistical category was instituted in 1908, only to be discontinued in 1931. The rule was again adopted in 1939, only to be eliminated again in 1940, before being adopted for the last time in 1954.

References

  1. ^ a b Official Rules | MLB.com
  2. ^ "Torrealba's slam, five sac flies power Rockies past Bucs". ESPN.com. Associated Press. June 7, 2006.
  3. ^ Stone, Larry (April 16, 2008). "Seattle Mariners ride flurry of sacrifice flies to 11-6 victory over Kansas City Royals". Seattle Times..
  4. ^ Sacrifice Flies Records
  5. ^ Single Season Records, baseball-reference.com.
  6. ^ "Career Leaders & Records for Sacrifice Flies". Baseball Reference. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  7. ^ "World Series Final Outs". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  8. ^ "1912 World Series". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved 13 June 2017.

External links

1949 World Series

The 1949 World Series featured the New York Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers, with the Yankees winning in five games for their second defeat of the Dodgers in three years, and the twelfth championship in team history. This victory would start a record run of five consecutive World Series championships by the Yankees, and was also the first of 14 AL pennants in 16 years (1949–1964 except for 1954 and 1959) for the Yankees.

Both teams finished the regular season with exactly the same records and winning their respective leagues by exactly one game.

1976 National League Championship Series

The 1976 National League Championship Series faced off the Cincinnati Reds (known for their nickname at the time, The Big Red Machine) and the Philadelphia Phillies. The Reds swept the best-of-five series in three games, winning easily in the first two games, and in their last at bat in Game 3.

Stars of the series for the Reds included batters Johnny Bench (4 for 12, HR), Dave Concepción (4 runs scored), George Foster (2 H, both home runs), Ken Griffey (5 for 13, triple), Pete Rose (6 for 14, 2 RBIs, 3 runs scored), and pitchers Don Gullett (win, 8 IP, 2 hits), Pedro Borbón (​4 1⁄3 IP, 0.00 ERA), and Pat Zachry (win, 5 IP, 3 SO).

1979 American League Championship Series

The 1979 American League Championship Series was a best-of-five series that pitted the East Division champion Baltimore Orioles against the West Division champion California Angels, who were making their first postseason appearance. The Orioles won the Series three games to one and would go on to lose to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1979 World Series.

This was the only ALCS between 1971 and 1981 that did not feature either the Oakland Athletics or the Kansas City Royals.

1979 National League Championship Series

The 1979 National League Championship Series was played between the National League West champion Cincinnati Reds and the National League East champion Pittsburgh Pirates.

It was the fourth time in the 1970s that the Pirates and Reds had faced off for the pennant; Cincinnati had won all three previous meetings in 1970, 1972 and 1975.

The Pirates won the series in a three-game sweep in what would be the last postseason appearance for both franchises until 1990.

1982 National League Championship Series

The 1982 National League Championship Series was played between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Atlanta Braves from October 6 to 10.

1986 American League Championship Series

The 1986 American League Championship Series was a back-and-forth battle between the Boston Red Sox and the California Angels for the right to advance to the 1986 World Series to face the winner of the 1986 National League Championship Series. The Red Sox came in with a 95–66 record and the AL East division title, while the Angels went 92–70 during the regular season to win the AL West.

1990 American League Championship Series

The 1990 American League Championship Series was a best-of-seven series that matched the East Division champion Boston Red Sox against the West Division champion Oakland Athletics. For the second time in three years, the Athletics swept the Red Sox four games to none. The sweep was capped by a Roger Clemens ejection in Game 4 for arguing balls and strikes. The Athletics lost to the Cincinnati Reds in the 1990 World Series.

1993 World Series

The 1993 World Series was the 90th edition of Major League Baseball's championship series and the conclusion of the 1993 Major League Baseball season. A best-of-seven playoff series, it pitted the defending champions and American League (AL) champion Toronto Blue Jays against the National League (NL) champion Philadelphia Phillies. With Toronto ahead three games to two in the Series, but trailing Game 6 by a score of 6-5 with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, with runners on first and second base and a count of two balls and two strikes, Joe Carter hit a game-winning three-run home run to win Game 6 by a score of 8-6 and the series four-games-to-two for Toronto, its second consecutive championship (the first team to repeat as champions since the 1977–78 Yankees). This was only the second Series concluded by such a home run (the first was in the 1960 World Series on a Bill Mazeroski home run for the Pittsburgh Pirates), and the first such occasion where a come-from-behind walk-off home run won a World Series. This was the last major North American professional sports championship won by a Canadian team until the Toronto Raptors won the 2019 NBA Finals.

Larry Andersen was the only member of the 1993 Phillies to also play for them in the 1983 World Series, although Darren Daulton was a late season call-up in 1983, but only served as the bullpen catcher in the World Series. Fittingly, in Daulton's first ever MLB game, he was a catcher for Larry Andersen.

1995 American League Division Series

The 1995 American League Division Series (ALDS), the opening round of the 1995 American League playoffs, began on Tuesday, October 3, and ended on Sunday, October 8, with the champions of the three AL divisions—along with a "wild card" team—participating in two best-of-five series. As a result of both leagues realigning into three divisions in 1994, it marked the first time in major league history that a team could qualify for postseason play without finishing in first place in its league or division. The teams were:

(1) Seattle Mariners (Western Division champion, 79–66) vs. (4) New York Yankees (Wild Card, 79–65): Mariners win series, 3–2.

(2) Boston Red Sox (Eastern Division champion, 86–58) vs. (3) Cleveland Indians (Central Division champion, 100–44): Indians win series, 3–0.The format of this series and the NLDS was the same as the League Championship Series prior to 1985, a five-game set wherein the first two games were played at one stadium and the last three at the other. This was much criticized as the team with home field advantage had its games back ended while a team with two games often preferred them in the middle as opposed to three straight in the opposing team's ballpark. The highly unpopular format was changed in 1998 for the present and more logical 2–2–1 format, which has been used in the LDS since except for 2012, when the 2-3 format was used due to the additional of the Wild Card games.

Because of realignment, this was the first time that both the Yankees and the Red Sox reached the playoffs in the same year.The Seattle Mariners and Cleveland Indians went on to meet in the AL Championship Series (ALCS). The Indians became the American League champion, and lost to the National League champion Atlanta Braves in the 1995 World Series.

1999 American League Division Series

The 1999 American League Division Series (ALDS), the opening round of the 1999 American League playoffs, began on Tuesday, October 5, and ended on Monday, October 11, with the champions of the three AL divisions—along with a "wild card" team—participating in two best-of-five series. The teams, which were identical to those qualifying in 1998, were:

(1) New York Yankees (Eastern Division champion, 98–64) vs. (3) Texas Rangers (Western Division champion, 95–67): Yankees win the series, 3–0.

(2) Cleveland Indians (Central Division champion, 97–65) vs. (4) Boston Red Sox (Wild Card, 94–68): Red Sox win the series, 3–2.The Yankees rolled over the Rangers, who scored 945 runs in 1999, for the second straight year three games to none. The Red Sox battled back down two games to none against a Cleveland Indians team that was the first to score 1,000 runs in a season in nearly 50 years and won the Series three games to two, thanks to Pedro Martínez. The Yankees would go on to defeat the Red Sox four games to one in their first-ever meeting in the postseason in the AL Championship Series, and would then go on to sweep the National League champion Atlanta Braves in the 1999 World Series.

2002 American League Division Series

The 2002 American League Division Series (ALDS), the opening round of the 2002 American League playoffs, began on Tuesday, October 1, and ended on Sunday, October 6, with the champions of the three AL divisions—along with a "wild card" team—participating in two best-of-five series. The teams were:

(1) New York Yankees (Eastern Division champion, 103–58) vs. (4) Anaheim Angels (Wild Card, 99–63): Angels win series, 3–1.

(2) Oakland Athletics (Western Division champion, 103–59) vs. (3) Minnesota Twins (Central Division champion, 94–67): Twins win series, 3–2.The Division Series saw the wild card-qualifying Angels beat the defending league champion Yankees, and the Twins defeat the Athletics in a startling upset. The Angels and Twins went on to meet in the AL Championship Series (ALCS). The Angels became the American League champion, and defeated the National League champion San Francisco Giants in the 2002 World Series.

2004 American League Division Series

The 2004 American League Division Series (ALDS), the opening round of the 2004 American League playoffs, began on Tuesday, October 5, and ended on Saturday, October 9, with the champions of the three AL divisions—along with a "wild card" team—participating in two best-of-five series. They were:

(1) New York Yankees (Eastern Division champion, 101–61) vs. (3) Minnesota Twins (Central Division champion, 92–70): Yankees win series, 3–1.

(2) Anaheim Angels (Western Division champion, 92–70) vs. (4) Boston Red Sox (Wild Card, 98–64): Red Sox win series, 3–0.The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox went on to meet in the AL Championship Series (ALCS). The Red Sox became the American League champion, and defeated the National League champion St. Louis Cardinals in the 2004 World Series for their first World Championship since 1918.

2005 National League Championship Series

The 2005 National League Championship Series (NLCS), the second round of the 2005 National League playoffs, matched the Central Division champion and defending league champion St. Louis Cardinals against the wild card qualifier Houston Astros, a rematch of the 2004 NLCS. The Cardinals, by virtue of having the best record in the NL during the 2005 season, had the home-field advantage. The Astros won the series four games to two, and became the National League champions; they faced the American League champion Chicago White Sox in the 2005 World Series, where the Astros lost to the White Sox in a sweep in four games.

The Cardinals and Astros were victorious in the NL Division Series (NLDS), with the Cardinals defeating the West Division champion San Diego Padres three games to none, and the Astros defeating the East Division champion Atlanta Braves three games to one. St. Louis manager Tony La Russa, who won AL pennants with the Oakland Athletics in 1988–89–90 and the NL flag in 2004, fell short in his bid to become the first manager in history to win multiple pennants in both major leagues, although he did so in 2006 and again in 2011. The NLCS also closed with the last game ever played at St. Louis' Busch Stadium (II), which the Cardinals departed after 40 seasons.

2007 American League Championship Series

The 2007 American League Championship Series (ALCS), the second round of the 2007 American League playoffs, began on October 12 and ended on October 21. It was a best-of-seven series, with the East Division champion Boston Red Sox facing the Central Division champion Cleveland Indians. The Red Sox came back from a 3–1 deficit to defeat the Indians 4–3, outscoring them 30–5 over the final three games of the Series.

The Red Sox had swept the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in three games in the AL Division Series, while the Indians had defeated the New York Yankees three games to one. The series marks the fourth postseason meeting of the two teams, following the 1995 and 1998 AL Division Series, both of which were won by the Indians, and the 1999 ALDS, won by the Red Sox (in a similar fashion to this series). It was the eighth ALCS appearance for Boston, and the fourth for Cleveland.

The Red Sox would go on to sweep the Colorado Rockies in the World Series, winning their seventh World Series championship.

The series was broadcast on Fox television.

2015 American League Championship Series

The 2015 American League Championship Series (ALCS) was a best-of-seven playoff contested between the Toronto Blue Jays and Kansas City Royals for the American League (AL) pennant and the right to play in the 2015 World Series. The series is the 46th in league history. The series was broadcast by Fox and Fox Sports 1 in the United States, with Fox airing Game 1 and Fox Sports 1 airing Games 2–6. Sportsnet, a property of Blue Jays owner Rogers Communications, simulcast Fox and Fox Sports 1's coverage in Canada. Game 1 took place on October 16, and the series ended with the Royals winning Game 6 on October 23.This was the second ALCS matchup between Kansas City and Toronto; the Royals previously rallied from a 3–1 deficit to defeat the Blue Jays in seven games in the 1985 ALCS.

The Royals would go on to defeat the New York Mets in the World Series in five games, winning their first World Series championship in 30 years.

2018 American League Division Series

The 2018 American League Division Series were two best-of-five-game series to determine the participating teams of the 2018 American League Championship Series. The three divisional winners, seeded first through third, and a fourth team—the Wild Card Game winner—played in two series. These matchups were:

(1) Boston Red Sox (East Division champions) vs. (4) New York Yankees (Wild Card Game winner)

(2) Houston Astros (West Division champions) vs. (3) Cleveland Indians (Central Division champions)Under sponsorship agreements with T-Mobile, the series was formally known as the American League Division Series presented by T-Mobile. The Astros and Red Sox won their respective series, to advance to the Championship Series.

At bat

In baseball, an at bat (AB) or time at bat is a batter's turn batting against a pitcher. An at bat is different from a plate appearance. A batter is credited with a plate appearance regardless of what happens during his turn at bat, but a batter is credited with an at bat only if that plate appearance does not have one of the results enumerated below. While at bats are used to calculate certain statistics, including batting average and slugging percentage, a player can qualify for the season-ending rankings in these categories only if he accumulates 502 plate appearances during the season.

A batter will not receive credit for an at bat if his plate appearance ends under the following circumstances:

He receives a base on balls (BB).

He is hit by a pitch (HBP).

He hits a sacrifice fly or a sacrifice bunt (also known as sacrifice hit).

He is awarded first base due to interference or obstruction, usually by the catcher.

He is replaced by another hitter before his at bat is completed, in which case the plate appearance and any related statistics go to the pinch hitter (unless he is replaced with two strikes and his replacement completes a strikeout, in which case the at bat and strikeout are still charged to the first batter).In addition, if the inning ends while he is still at bat (due to the third out being made by a runner caught stealing, for example), no at bat or plate appearance will result. In this case, the batter will come to bat again in the next inning, though the count will be reset to no balls and no strikes.

Rule 9.02(a)(1) of the official rules of Major League Baseball defines an at bat as: "Number of times batted, except that no time at bat shall be charged when a player: (A) hits a sacrifice bunt or sacrifice fly; (B) is awarded first base on four called balls; (C) is hit by a pitched ball; or (D) is awarded first base because of interference or obstruction[.]"

Sacrifice bunt

In baseball, a sacrifice bunt (also called a sacrifice hit) is a batter's act of deliberately bunting the ball, before there are two outs, in a manner that allows a runner on base to advance to another base. The batter is almost always sacrificed (and to a certain degree that is the intent of the batter) but sometimes reaches base due to an error or fielder's choice. In that situation, if runners still advance bases, it is still scored a sacrifice bunt instead of the error or the fielder's choice. Sometimes the batter may safely reach base by simply outrunning the throw to first; this is not scored as a sacrifice bunt but rather a single.

In the Major Leagues, sacrifice bunts reduce the average runs scored but increase the likelihood of scoring once. However, they can increase the average runs scored in an inning if the batter is a weak hitter.

A successful sacrifice bunt does not count as an at bat, does not impact a player's batting average, and counts as a plate appearance. However, unlike a sacrifice fly, a sacrifice bunt does not count against a player in determining on-base percentage. If the official scorer believes that the batter was attempting to bunt for a base hit, and not solely to advance the runners, the batter is charged an at bat and is not credited with a sacrifice bunt.

In leagues without a designated hitter, sacrifice bunts are most commonly attempted by pitchers, who are typically not productive hitters. Managers consider that if a pitcher's at bat will probably result in an out, they might as well go out in a way most likely to advance the runners. The play also obviates the need for the pitcher to run the base paths, and hence avoids the risk of injury. Some leadoff hitters also bunt frequently in similar situations and may be credited with a sacrifice, but as they are often highly skilled bunters and faster runners, they are often trying to get on base as well as advance runners.

A sacrifice bunt attempted while a runner is on third is called a squeeze play.

A sacrifice bunt attempted while a runner on third is attempting to steal home is called a suicide squeeze.

Although a sacrifice bunt is not the same as a sacrifice fly, both fell under the same statistical category until 1954.

In scoring, a sacrifice bunt may be denoted by SH, S, or occasionally, SAC.

Tag up

In baseball, to tag up is for a baserunner to retouch or remain on their starting base (the time-of-pitch base) until (after) the ball either lands in fair territory or is first touched by a fielder. By rule, baserunners must tag up when a fly ball is caught in flight by a fielder. After a legal tag up, runners are free to attempt to advance, even if the ball was caught in foul territory. On long fly ball outs, runners can often gain a base; when a runner scores by these means, this is called a sacrifice fly. On short fly balls, runners seldom attempt to advance after tagging up, due to the high risk of being thrown out.

When a baserunner fails to tag up on a caught fly ball (for instance, if they started running too early, thinking the ball wouldn't be caught), they may be "doubled off", which results in them being called out. To double a runner off, a fielder must touch the runner's starting base while in possession of the ball, before the runner returns to the base. If the baserunner appeared to tag up, but a fielder suspects the baserunner may have left the base too early (thus failing to legally tag up), the fielder may attempt to double the runner off by touching the runner's starting base while controlling the ball, before the next pitch is thrown. This is considered a type of appeal play. If the umpire agrees that the runner did not retouch after the ball was touched by a fielder, the umpire will call the runner out, and anything else the runner did during the play (such as score a run) is negated. Doubling a runner off is considered a "time play" (as opposed to a force play), which means that even if the doubling-off is the third out of an inning, any runs which score before the double-off will count (unless the run was scored by the same runner that was doubled off, in which case the run will not count in any situation).

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