Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine

This is Officially Not a Trivia Contest (though it's certainly trivial so maybe close to that!)

I'm not very good with math -- I ignore it more than 60 percent, or almost half the time! So I'm not sure what made me think of this, but I found myself wondering ...

What is the maximum number of hits a pitcher can allow in one inning without giving up a run? I'm sure there must be a "right" answer to this; it's not an "infinity" question like it would be if we added the word "unearned" to the question. So here we go -- check my work, grade my effort, let me know if there is another answer, and post your own favorite "thought experiment" question here.

Is this right?

  1. Pitcher surrenders three infield singles, loading the bases. (Three batters, no runs.)
  2. Pitcher picks off runner on third, surrenders another infield single (Four, zero.)
  3. Pitcher repeats step two, above.  (Five, zero.)
  4. Pitcher strikes out hitter for third out.

Final answer: Five base hits allowed, no runs scored.

So -- is that right? And what else you got?


Thought Experiment ... | 7 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Tuesday, September 15 2009 @ 10:58 AM EDT (#206116) #
Six.  On the last play, with the bases loaded, if the batter hits a sharp ground ball down the third base line and the runner interferes in some way with the third baseman's ability to field the ball and is called out for interference but the scorer is of the opinion that the third baseman would not likely have fielded the ball anyway, it is conceivable that the batter could be awarded a hit (see Rule 10.05(5)). 


MatO - Tuesday, September 15 2009 @ 10:59 AM EDT (#206117) #
If instead of the batter striking out to end the inning he instead had hit a ball that struck a baserunner would that not have been the third out and the hitter credited with a hit?  That would make 6.  I think that's the rule.
Ducey - Tuesday, September 15 2009 @ 12:46 PM EDT (#206121) #

For the last out, the hitter hits a single into the outfield but the runner from third is cut down by a throw at the plate.  Its unlikely given that the hitter would be running at the crack of the bat, but maybe you have a runner with the speed of Benji Molina and the attention span of Alex Rios.

I assume the hitter would get credit for a hit.

james - Tuesday, September 15 2009 @ 01:10 PM EDT (#206122) #
In that last scenario, the batter would not get a hit as the runner was out on a force play at home.

Another option for six hits, that I would need to put some more thought into, would be something involving a runner passing another runner on hit number 6.

Lugnut Fan - Wednesday, September 16 2009 @ 03:40 PM EDT (#206171) #
I have probably the most inconceivable way to get to six hits.  three singles to load the bases and then the base runners are hit with the ball of the bat of each of the next three hitters.  The hitter is awarded a single and the infielder that is nearest the hit runner is a awarded a put out.  I an imagine a manager or base coach simply pulling his hair out over this scenario.
Mick Doherty - Wednesday, September 16 2009 @ 05:23 PM EDT (#206181) #

LF, that's great. I didn't know the batter was given a base hit there. But we're still at six -- hm, for a minute I thought I was going to get to eight, but no, just another in a long line of why-I-wasn't-a-math-major moments. Do I hear seven, anyone?

  • three infield singles
  • line drive hits the runner on third (four hits)
  • repeat (five)
  • repeat (inning over, no runs, six hits, no errors)


James W - Wednesday, September 16 2009 @ 08:46 PM EDT (#206185) #

6 is your maximum.  It's impossible to get a 7th batter to the plate without a run scoring -- there are basically 6 places to "store" batters (3 bases and 3 outs) without them scoring.

This explanation is much clearer in my head, heh.

Thought Experiment ... | 7 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.