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The saying “Everyone is a winner” is rarely true in sports. While the intention behind that saying is to encourage players – mostly kids – not to get down on themselves when they lose, the bottom line is that every sport has a clear winner and a loser.
Before understanding the intricacies of each sport, you must first understand how the scoring works in that sport to know how winners are determined.
In baseball, the team who scores the most runs wins the game. Runs are scored by crossing home plate. In order to cross home plate, players must reach first, second, and third base safely.
This is a fairly simple concept, but there are some other things to consider when learning about how the scoring works in baseball. Continue reading this article to gain some insight into how the scoring process works in baseball.
How are Runs Scored?
For those who are unfamiliar with baseball, it may be confusing as to why hitters start at home plate and have a goal of trying to make it back there. Well, that is because the only way to score a run is by crossing home plate.
Runs can be scored in baseball in several different ways. A team can score a run in any way that allows a player to reach each base safely before eventually crossing home plate.
The most popular – and most entertaining – way to score a run is via the home run. This is when a player hits the ball over the fence in the outfield which then allows him to run around the bases untouched before eventually crossing home plate.
When a player hits a home run, every other player who was on base gets to come around to score as well.
Another common way to score a run is through an RBI (Run Batted In). When a hitter puts a ball in play that allows one of his teammates to come around the bases and score, then he receives an RBI.
Although he did not score himself, his hit allowed the player on base to score; therefore, the hitter would receive credit for producing the run.
There are so many other ways to score a run in a baseball game, and it would be too long of a list to write. The bottom line is that a team can score a run by anything that allows a player to cross home plate.
Why are They Called Runs Instead of Points in Baseball?
One thing you should never do in front of a baseball player is ask them how many points their team scored. That is the easiest way to find out if someone doesn’t know what they’re talking about when it comes to baseball.
In baseball, a point is called a run because the player had to run around all of the bases safely in order to score. Calling it a run is more specific to how it is scored, and it also gives the sport a unique distinction from other sports.
You may sometimes hear people refer to runs as “baseball points”. This is normally said in a joking manner and is a way of poking fun at both the game and people who don’t really understand the true lingo of the sport.
All in all, runs are points, they are just referred to as runs to give baseball its own unique flare.
Are Runs Scored Counted in a Player’s Statistics?
We have said this before in our teachings on Baseball Scouter, but the game of baseball has become a numbers game. It is impossible to learn about the sport without learning about the numbers involved in it.
Runs scored are counted in a player’s, and team’s, statistics, but there are also several other ways to keep track of how many runs a player scores and/or produces.
The most common statistic for scoring runs in baseball is the runs scored statistic, typically referred to with an R in the stat book. Every time a player scores a run for his team, he receives a tally in the runs scored category.
Runs scored is not the only statistic to look at when trying to understand a player’s value. As mentioned earlier, runs batted in (RBI) are an important part of a player’s statistical profile.
Players receive a tally in the RBI category every time they put a ball in play and a runner scores because of it. For example, if Player A is on third base with one out, and Player B hits a fly ball to center field that is caught for an out, if Player A tags up and scores, Player B receives an RBI.
Even though Player B got out, his at-bat produced a run. Players can sometimes receive an RBI without putting the ball in play, but that only happens when they walk or get hit by a pitch with the bases loaded causing a run to score.
Players do not receive an RBI if the run they produced scores because of an error. For example, if Player C is on second base, and Player D hits a ground ball to the short-stop who misses the ball, if Player C scores because of that error, then Player D does not receive an RBI.
Sabermetrics, made popular by the book turned movie Moneyball, also measures a player’s value with a statistic called runs created.
This statistic, created by Bill James, attempts to understand how many runs a player is responsible for producing with the understanding that a player can do more to produce runs than simply cross home plate or hit the ball to where others can cross home plate.
James’s statistic takes on-base percentage and a player’s ability to move himself and others around the bases into account when determining a player’s run-producing ability.
Who Has Produced the Most Runs in MLB History?
One thing the MLB loves to do is keep track of career leaderboards. Any statistic that has ever been recorded has a career leaderboard.
Rickey Henderson scored the most runs in MLB history by crossing home plate 2,295 times. Hank Aaron is the MLB’s all-time leader in RBI with 2,297.
The career RBI leaderboard is filled mostly with players who also top the career home run leaderboard. The more power a player has, the more likely he is to hit home runs and drive in even more runs.
The career leaderboard for runs scored is made up of a combination of power and contact hitters.
For example, Rickey Henderson, known as one of the greatest lead-off hitters of all-time, leads the list while Barry Bonds, known for his home run prowess, are both in the top three in runs scored.
Since contact hitters like Henderson mostly hit in the top of the batting order, they don’t have a lot of opportunities for RBI because players usually aren’t on-base when they hit.
However, since they get on base a lot with power hitters behind them, they have plenty of opportunities to score runs.
Do runs count when they are scored right before the third out is made?
If the third out is a force out, then a run does not count whether the player crosses home plate before or after the out is made. But if the third out is not a force out, then the run counts if the player crosses home plate before the out is made.
What is the most runs scored in an MLB game?
In 2007, the Texas Rangers set the single-game mark for most runs scored in an MLB game when they beat the Baltimore Orioles by a score of 30-3. The previous record was 29 by the Boston Red Sox, a record that held for 57 years before the Rangers’ 2007 outburst.
What are the most runs scored in an inning in an MLB game?
In 1883, the Chicago Cubs, then known as the Chicago White Stockings, scored 18 runs in one inning. The only team to come close to that is, yet again, the Texas Rangers who scored 16 runs in the 8th inning in a 1996 contest against, yet again, the Baltimore Orioles.
See More: The Highest Scoring MLB Game in History?
Can a player steal home?
Yes, a base runner on third is allowed to steal home although it is very uncommon. In order to steal home, a player must get a good jump and be fast enough to beat the pitch home. If the player is safe, then he scores a run for his team.
When runners do steal home, it is often done against left-handed pitchers because they have their back turned to the runner.