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What Is a Hit and Run in Baseball? – An Expert’s Explanation

what is a hit and run in baseball

Without an effective strategy in baseball, a team would not be able to attain its aimed best score. This is true whether the team’s playing defensively or offensively.

A “hit-and-run” is an example of an offensive strategy. A complex move in itself, a hit and run can literally make or break a team in a maj0r league game. But what is a hit and run in baseball?

Read on to find out.

What Is a Baseball Hit and Run?

What hit and run mean in baseball is a rough, stealthy, but highly-rewarding offensive move of stealing base from a defensive infielder. It could mean go big or go home.

Not any team can opt for a hit and run. It has become the last attempt for many desperate teams to score through the years. Even coaches find it risky, given today’s sabermetric lenses bringing about game possibilities from all angles.

However, some experts consider it a stealthy and artistic move of protecting the team’s runner on his way to steal the base.

How Is a Hit and Run Best Executed?

hit-and-run-mean-in-baseball

More than a few perfectly-executed hits and runs in MLB history have been recorded. For example, several people agree that the hit and run by New York Mets’ Jacob DeGrom was perfect for many reasons.

Firstly, this move seems to have taken place out of the blue. The deliberate choice to not to sacrifice but complete a full-blown single hit and run was essentially unexpected.

In the end, it made it easy for Juan Lagares to score. In addition, the Met’s runners earned their places in the corners without a single out.

Many people agree this run in baseball is a memorable moment in the MLB!

What Makes Hit and Run Controversial?

baseball-hit-and-run

In itself, the hit and run is not controversial. However, it’s risky.

Here are some tips for doing the hit and run:

  • You shouldn’t do it with two outs: A perfect baseball hit and run works as a compromise between the batter and the runner. It basically lets go of the batter to protect the runner.
  • So, in theory, while hitting and running with two outs can be helpful for the baserunner to move on to the next base, it could also cause the batter to get an out, thus upturning the team from an offensive to a defensive position.
  • Do it by picking a hitter who can go the other way off the field in a short time: The faster a hitter can move from one field to the next, the more difficult it is for the defense.
  • However, you cannot just let anyone do that. You will need a super-fast, stealthy, and agile hitter who can move between the first and second man. Once the quick shift is executed, a double play is almost always avoided, and the player can smoothly perform the hit in baseball.
  • You can’t waste a batter, especially if you have a fast runner in your team. That would be painfully impractical: In cases where you found speedy runners in your team, the most practical strategy is to have them steal second base.
  • You can bunt him towards third base once he has done so. Given that your runner is swift and that he can steal many bases in a short time, let him do the hit and run to the max to best utilize him.
  • Do not let the batter get in the way, especially since you may waste an out in that case.
  • But again, make sure that your runner is genuinely fast enough. Otherwise, you will not be able to go big on your hit and run.
  • Avoid the double play when doing the hit and run: It was said before, but it has to be repeated. Keep in mind to avoid double play when doing the hit and run.
  • Technically, a double play instantly means two outs. It also means the baserunner cannot return to his base. Avoiding the double play should pay your batters some good time for slowing down and ideally hitting fast (scoring high) during the inning.

Conclusion

What is a hit and run in baseball? A hit and run in baseball is a high-risk but rewarding offensive strategy. When doing a hit and run, one has to steal as many bases as he can.

Another great tip is to observe past hit-and-runs, like how Jacob DeGrom set the stage for Juan Lagares.

Some strategies for this move are avoiding double play, not wasting a batter, picking a quick hitter, and not doing it with two outs. In the end, it is all up to the skill of the one pulling it off.

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