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Sunday, August 11, 2019

One inning, three runs, three true outcomes (non-law)

Thinking about baseball today, so that prompts this non-law post.

Baseball analysts emphasize the concept of "three true outcomes"--walk, home run, or strikeout. These are the possible results of a pitcher/batter confrontation that reflect the "true" results of that one-on-one encounter, unaffected by any other players. The focus on these outcomes drives recent concerns for style and pace of play. Batters look to hit home runs, are less willing to offer at pitches out of the strike zone, and accept increased strikeouts as a cost. All three true outcomes are up, creating a slower and (some believe) less exciting game.

In Saturday night's Braves-Marlins game, the Braves scored three runs in an inning featuring nothing but those three true outcomes. The inning went: Walk, Strikeout, Walk, Strikeout, 3-run HR, Walk, Walk, [pitching change], Strikeout. No fielder other than the pitcher and catcher was involved in any play. No baserunner was at risk of being put-out on the basepaths.

I have never seen anything like that.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on August 11, 2019 at 07:51 PM in Howard Wasserman, Sports | Permalink


I think this is the sort of question a law prof (and only a few others) could appreciate: Do you believe baseball isn't boring, or do you just personally not find it boring?

Posted by: Derek Tokaz | Aug 15, 2019 12:31:05 AM

I don't believe that baseball is boring, in any style of play. But I am an outlier on that.

Posted by: Howard Wasserman | Aug 11, 2019 9:12:08 PM

More seriously, due to said little leaguer, I've watched more basedball this year than I have in years, I find the games plenty exciting. To me, the battle for a walk v. strikeout is half the fun. Hits are boring, as are home runs. I mean exciting, obviously, especially if you are cheering for a team, but super anti-climactic. That sweet, sweet third strike with a man on third is far more exciting to me.

Posted by: Michael Risch | Aug 11, 2019 8:50:59 PM

Funny - I see it all the time...in my kid's little league games. Though not many home runs, and not so much as he's gotten older. The especially painful ones will be like 4 or 5 runs, one walk at a time.

Posted by: Michael Risch | Aug 11, 2019 8:49:14 PM

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