When you get on base your goal, in fact the team’s goal, is to score your run. Whether you can run a little bit or not, awareness is the key! So, let’s agree on some obvious ground rules. The ball will be in the hands of either the Pitcher or the Catcher the majority of the time and you should think two bases every time the ball is hit, including out of the batter’s box.
Yet it is realistic to believe not everyone will hit a double every time they’re up. So whether you draw a walk or single, getting to second has to be your number one priority even when most of us don’t have the green light. Fast or slow (let’s say less fast) by anticipating a ball in the dirt will help even the slowest runner get into scoring position.
With every pitch thrown observe the angle and direction with one goal in mind, getting to second. If the ball is heading in the dirt, take off! The Law of Averages is in your favor so, RUN FOREST RUN!
Once you take off, there are so options and the possibilities you create!
If he catches the ball below his knees or on a hop
- Possibly causing a catcher to rush, missing or bobbling the ball as he attempts a backhand with a glove not designed to catch a ball like that
- Possibly causing the catcher to rush, standing straight up versus staying low and gaining ground, changing his release point and have his throw end up in right center
- Possibly causing the catcher to rush, dropping the ball as he transfers it from the glove to his throwing hand
- Possibly causing the catcher to rush, making a less than accurate throw
In addition to all the possibilities that can affect a catcher catching and throwing the baseball, the other half of the play is still 50-50 at best:
- The player covering the base has to catch the ball
- The player covering the base has to make the tag
- The umpire has to call you out
Nice odds just by paying attention! Those odds increase dramatically if the catcher has to block the ball.
- He has to to pop-up (hopefully the ball is right in front of him), bare hand the ball cleanly and make an accurate throw.
- Now if the ball caroms to his left or right increases your odds further [e.g., adding time or creating a bad-throwing angle].
- If he misses the ball completely play heads up and consider two bases!
Anticipate it! Maybe it’s the count [potential to break something off into the dirt], maybe it’s where the catcher sets-up or maybe it’s the pitcher thinking way too much about the hitter at the plate or whose on-deck. Expect a ball in the dirt, recognize the angle of the pitch, and take off.
Think about it, when you pay attention and take advantage of what is given too you baseball is simple. Be aware and cash in on these opportunities because it is easier to score from second, only to increase your odds when you are on third.
Until next Blog,