Yet another scoring question

I was putting in theaters from a game yesterday and came across a situation I thought interesting. 

Here's the setup. My son is at the plate, runners at 1&3, no out's. He hits a routine fly to medium deep right. RF'er camps under it and drops it. R3 tagged and scores. R1 had started back for first before changing direction and was easily forced out at second 9-6. How does you score this? At first glance, not considering R1, it would seem pretty easy - give the batter credit for a sac fly, an rbi and call it an ROE. However, with the force out, you don't give F9 an error because there were no bases advanced that wouldn't have advanced if he made the play. So, is it still a sac fly, fielder's choice, and an 0-0 with an rbi? 

Original Post

You are correct in your thoughts...at least with MLB rulebook

Section 9.08

(d) 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 runner 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 been caught.

Rule 9.08(d) Comment: The official scorer shall score a sacrifice fly in accordance with Rule 9.08(d)(2) even though another runner is forced out by reason of the batter becoming a runner.

roothog66 posted: I was putting in the stats from a game yesterday and came across a situation I thought interesting. 

Here's the setup. My son is at the plate, runners at 1&3, no out's. He hits a routine fly to medium deep right. RF'er camps under it and drops it. R3 tagged and scores. R1 had started back for first before changing direction and was easily forced out at second 9-6. How does you score this? At first glance, not considering R1, it would seem pretty easy - give the batter credit for a sac fly, an rbi and call it an ROE. However, with the force out, you don't give F9 an error because there were no bases advanced that wouldn't have advanced if he made the play. So, is it still a sac fly, fielder's choice, and an 0-0 with an rbi? 

This one’s pretty simple actually, but again you need to have seen the play. Take it a step at a time. Would R3 have scored if the ball was fielded cleanly? If yes, R3 scores on sac fly. R1 forced at 2nd 9-6. Batter-runner reaches on fielder’s choice and credited with sac fly no AB.

The secret is in the definition of a fielder’s choice. Most people assume a FC means only the underlined below. But as can easily be seen, there are other reasons to use it, and this is one of them.

Look at it this way, how would you score the runner reaching 1st if the ball had been a grounder through the right side and F9 would have forced R1 at 2nd? Although the BR does reach because the F9 dropped the ball, there can’t be an error on the play because of the force but you still have to account for the BR reaching. The BR is credited with a sac fly so there’s no AB, but he has to get to 1st somehow. FC.

FIELDER’S CHOICE is the act of a fielder who handles a fair grounder and, instead of throwing to first base to put out the batter-runner, throws to another base in an attempt to put out a preceding runner.The term is also used by scorers (a) to account for the advance of the batter-runner who takes one or more extra bases when the fielder who handles his safe hit attempts to put out a preceding runner; (b) to account for the advance of a runner (other than by stolen base or error) while a fielder is attempting to put out another runner; and (c) to account for the advance of a runner made solely because of the defensive team’s indifference(undefended steal).

 

One reason it looks weird on a scorecard is because it’s an unusual play. Attached is how it would look if you were scoring using Project Scoresheet rather than a standard scoresheet. It makes it a little easier to see what happened.

 1st batter walked. 2nd batter lined a single into left field. Player #511 steals 2nd on the 3rd pitch. Player #511 moves to 3rd on the hit. 3rd batter reaches on a 9-6 fielder’s choice and gets credit for an RBI and sac fly. Player #511 scores on the play and Player #547 is put out at 2nd. Below that are the batting stats at that point.

 I’ve really gotten used to seeing the scoresheet in this format and find it much easier to see what and when things happened.

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Stats4Gnats posted:

One reason it looks weird on a scorecard is because it’s an unusual play. Attached is how it would look if you were scoring using Project Scoresheet rather than a standard scoresheet. It makes it a little easier to see what happened.

 1st batter walked. 2nd batter lined a single into left field. Player #511 steals 2nd on the 3rd pitch. Player #511 moves to 3rd on the hit. 3rd batter reaches on a 9-6 fielder’s choice and gets credit for an RBI and sac fly. Player #511 scores on the play and Player #547 is put out at 2nd. Below that are the batting stats at that point.

 I’ve really gotten used to seeing the scoresheet in this format and find it much easier to see what and when things happened.

Thanks. Yeah. There's also no way to properly score it on Game Changer, but I enter states straight from paper rather than import, so it didn't matter. There's also the fact that I don't think anyone is taking a very long look at FC stats.

My only question would be the medium to deep right field.   All of our right fielders would throw a kid out at home if it is routine fly ball, which you said, so you cannot assume it would have been Sac Fly. 

If it was deep flyball to RF or fly to RF in the gap to center, maybe.  Not being there it is your call as the scorer to decide if the RF would have thrown the kid out at home.  If not sure, it cannot be a sac fly just a FC.

The call would not depend on the particular right fielder, but rather if an ordinary effort from an average fielder at the particular level of play would have resulted in an out. On fly balls, unless it's shallow, you are always going to give the benefit of the doubt to the batter. I have never seen, even at the mlb level, where a scorer would assume ordinary effort would result in an out at the plate on a fly ball to the outfield.

roothog66 posted:

The call would not depend on the particular right fielder, but rather if an ordinary effort from an average fielder at the particular level of play would have resulted in an out. On fly balls, unless it's shallow, you are always going to give the benefit of the doubt to the batter. I have never seen, even at the mlb level, where a scorer would assume ordinary effort would result in an out at the plate on a fly ball to the outfield.

EXACTLY! Many people and well as many scorers take into account their fielders rather than the “average” and it causes problems. I had the privilege of watching both Roberto Clement and Rocky Colavito play right field in their prime and can tell you that even with two of the best arms who ever played right field, many times runners were able to score on them.

 Sometimes people forget that there’s much more to it than being able to throw the ball over the distance in time to get a runner. If the runner is even a tick faster than average it’s harder to get the ball in in time. If the ball is thrown even just a few degrees off, it isn’t going to be where the catcher can get it an put on the tag. In short, no matter who’s in RF on a play like that and who’s running, if the ball is more than 250’ away when caught, it’s gonna take a great throw to get a runner tagging up at 3rd.

 

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