Understanding Game Commands

Offensive Commands:

Hit Away:
Hit the ball. No special play on. Always available.

Hit and Run:
Runner(s) goes on the pitch. Batter must try to hit the ball. Used to advance the runner, stay out of the double play, or sometimes just to make something happen. Usually when your offense is sluggish. Available with runner on first, runner on second, or runners on first and second.

Sacrifice Bunt:
The batter bunts the ball with the intention of being thrown out at first. His goal is to have the runner(s) move up a base on the putout at first. This play is used to get runner(s) into scoring position. It is a better play if the batter is not likely to get a hit or is an excellent bunter or if both these situations are in force. Several factors will determine the success of the play and all are taken into account by PURE BASEBALL. The batters sac bunt rating, the defense of the third baseman, the pitcher, the first baseman, and the catcher are taken into account. Whether the "corners" (First and third basemen) are playing "in". And the speed of the lead runner is also a consideration. The play is used with 1) a runner on first 2) a runner on second 3) runners on first and second and 4) with runners on first and third. In this particular base situation, the runner on third holds his base unless there is an error or an overthrow on the play that allows him to advance. The goal of the play is to get the runner on first to second.

Squeeze Play:
The squeeze is a sacrifice play designed to score the runner from third. The goal is to have the runner on third break for home on the pitch and for the batter to simply bunt the ball into play. The runner breaking early from third scores easily if the ball is bunted fair. It is crucial for the batter to not miss the bunt attempt or the runner is an easy out. This play should be used with 0 or 1 outs when the runner on third scoring is very important to the outcome of the game. The batter should have a high bunt rating. The play’s success depends on the batter "laying" down a fair bunt.

Steal Play:
1. Steal of second: The runner takes off on the pitch and attempts to reach second base before the catcher can throw him out. This is a good play when getting a good base stealing runner to second is important. It is not a wise play when one run will not make a significant difference. The manager should take into account the various statistical totals of the runner, the pitcher and the catcher before making a decision to steal. The runner may not be able to get a good "jump" depending on his jump rating and the pitcher’s ability to hold runners close.

2. Steal of third. This play works best with one out and a runner on second in a close game. It is even more recommended if the pitcher’s ability makes it unlikely that either of the next two batters will get a hit to score the runner from second. Once the runner is able to successfully steal third with one out, a fly ball or perhaps a grounder, passed ball or wild pitch can score him. The Squeeze play also becomes a possibility forcing the defense to bring the corners in or indeed the whole infield.

3. Double Steal with runners on first and second. Pretty nearly the same play as the steal of third except that there is a trailing runner. If the trailing runner is the tying or go ahead run, so much the better!

4. Delayed steal of Home. This play is pulled off only with runners on first and third. The runner on first ( He should be a good base stealer.) breaks for second. When the catcher throws to second the runner on third breaks for the plate. The runner’s speed is the important factor here. His base stealing ability is not involved. His sheer speed will determine whether he is safe. The defensive team has tlaked about the possibility of the play ahead of time if they are alert. They will have the choice of throwing to second to get the runner, of cutting a throw to second off and throwing back home to nab the runner trying to score, or to simply not throw to second. The first choice will make it highly unlikely that the runner will be caught at home. The second makes it much more likely but concedes second base to the runner on first. The third play simply concedes second base to avoid the possibility of the run scoring on the delayed steal.

Defensive Commands:

The defensive version of hit away. The infield is at normal depth.

Intentional Walk:
The defensive team concedes first base to the batter. The play is a good one if the batter is a good one and if first base is "open". That is to say that there are runners on second, first and third, or second and third. The next batter should ordinarily be a poorer batter against the defense’s pitcher. Another reason to walk a batter intentionally is to set up a force play and the greater likelihood of a double play. Again, the batter should be walked when there is an "open" base and no force possible.

Infield In:
The defense plays the infield in only if a runner is on third and there are less than two outs. The idea is that a grounder at a drawn in infielder will make it very difficult to score from third. The maneuver decreases the range of all four infielders. Hits are more likely but groundball outs are far less likely to lead to a run. The strategy is even more valid when there is no force play and a groundball double play to end the inning is not possible.

Corners In:
This strategy is used to defend against the bunt. If there are no runners on and the batter is known for his ability to bunt for a hit, bringing the corners in will make it more difficult to lay down a successful bunt hit. The strategy also makes it more difficult to execute a successful sacrifice bunt. The corners should be in whenever a sacrifice bunt is in order for the offense. Like bringing the whole infield in, bringing the corner infielders limits there range and increases the likelihood of a ball being hit past them for a hit.

Guard the Lines:
This strategy is designed to prevent extra base hits on balls hit on the ground down the lines. The corner infielders are instructed to play very close to the lines in order to prevent a ball getting between them and the line and resulting in a double or a triple. The strategy allows balls hit between first and second and third and shortstop to go through more often. More singles will be hit but less doubles and triples. When there are no base runners and it’s a one run game or a tie game, the strategy makes sense. Otherwise it does not.

Hold Runner:
This means that the runner on first is being held on by the first baseman. The default setting has the runner at first being held in the following situations: Runner on first or runners on first and third. When there is also a runner at second base, the default is not to hold the runner on first. The strategy makes it more difficult for the runner to steal second or to get a better jump on a base hit that would help him take an extra base. Only very slow runners are not held on in the default situation. If a runner is held on first base, the first baseman’s range is reduced.