> >> > Friend of mine sent me this, thought I'd see what rsb has to say:
> >> > On Friday night, with the bases loaded and 1 out in the 9th and the
> >> > Cubs down 4-2, Todd Walker hit a grounder to Scott Rolen, which went
> >> > through his legs, allowing two runs to score. The Cubs eventually won
> >> > in 14. Walker was *not* credited with an RBI. I think he should have
> >> > been: you never "assume the double play", and if Rolen had thrown to
> >> > 1st, one run would have scored. The only justification I can think of
> >> > is the assumption that Rolen would have thrown home.
> >> 10.04 (2) Credit a run batted in for the run scored when, before two
> >> are out, an error is made on a play on which a runner from third base
> >> *ordinarily* would score.
> >> The third baseman may have been playing in for a play at the plate.
> >> In view of the rule cited above, the scorer must have felt that a force
> >> at home was probable.
> > I didn't see the play, but I don't know why Rolen would be playing in
> > with a 2-run lead, and a batter who's not a threat to bunt.
> > My guess is that the official scorer screwed up. I used to naively
> > believe that the scorers knew what they were doing, but I've seen too
> > many screwy decisions the last few years.
> In this situation, usually the middle infielders play at double play depth
> and go for the 2nd-to-1st double play whereas the corner infielders play
> shallow going for the home-to-1st double play. Balls hit toward the center
> of the infield are conducive to 2nd-to-1st double plays whereas balls hit
> along the lines are more conducive to home-to-1st double plays. They go for
> the double play with the shortest throws.
If the third baseman is back at his normal position, the throw to
second is about the same length at the throw home when he's playing in.
Plus, right-handed throwers can move the ball around the infield
faster going clockwise than counterclockwise.
Even if there is a slight increase in the likelihood of a double play
when playing in at the corners, it's more than offset, IMO, by the
increased likelihood of a ball getting past one of the corner
> I would not credit Walker with an RBI because the runner on third would not
> have "ordinarily" scored on this play. Rolen was playing shallow for a
> reason ... most likely to force the runner out at the plate.
Corner infielders might ordinarily play in with the bases loaded and
one out, but that's because ordinarily the potential run on third means
something, so, on a slowly-hit ball where they can get only one out,
he's the one they want to get. With a two-run lead in the ninth, that
run means nothing - they need to be concerned with the runners on first
and second, and the guy at the plate. The best way to keep any of
those guys from scoring is to put your fielders where they are most
able to make plays.