Major league baseball (MLB) is a captivating sport followed not only by North Americans but also by sports lovers all over the world.
But to truly enjoy a baseball game, it is important to first understand the rules of how the sport is played.
First Things First
A game of baseball is played between two opposing teams, with each team made up of nine players.
Every game is played across 9 innings, with each inning divided into two halves. In the first half, one of the two teams will bat and attempt to score as many points as possible, while the other team will defend the field (not unlike a cricket match). During the second half of the inning, the teams will swap.
Games are played on a field in the shape of a diamond. The four corners are as follows: home plate, first base, second base, and third base.
The pitcher pitches the ball from the mound, which is located at the center of the infield. The outfield is that area beyond the infield and is bordered by the first and third baselines.
The Aim Of The Game
Once an inning is in motion, the defensive team’s pitcher will throw the ball in the direction of the opposing player currently batting at home plate. The batter must then hit the ball so far out of reach that it affords enough time to make a trip around the base. Should the hitter manage to make it back to home plate in time, a point is scored by the offensive team.
Should he however fail to make it to first base in time, and the ball reaches it first, the hitter will be “out”. A batter will also be considered out if he fails to hit the ball three times in a row.
Three “outs” will signal the end of the offensive team’s time on the pitch.
MLB expert picks are partly based on a team’s performance in the diamond, and their ability to go out and rack up points for their team.
Common Phrases Explained
- The four points of the diamond field.
- This is an illegal action by the pitcher and results in all runners advancing one base.
- This refers to the second half of an inning.
- This happens whenever a batter makes it to second base without interruption.
- Fly ball. A ball that travels high into the air when hit.
- Forfeited game. A game is deemed forfeited whenever it is called as such by the umpire due to a violation of the rules of the sport. In this case, the offended team wins the game.
- Foul ball. A ball that lands on foul or forbidden territory. A ball that touches a player is also considered a foul ball.
- Ground ball. A ball that rolls along the ground after being batted.
- Line drive. This ball is batted in the direction of a fielder without ever touching the ground.
- When an umpire calls “safe” this means that a runner trying to make base has not been forced out or tagged.
- A player scores a triple result when making it to third base without stopping along the way.