3 years 22 weeks ago

There is one situation in particular that the hit and run play is almost always successful. There are several things both the hitter and the runner must do, as well as what they should not do. The hit and run play can be a serious momentum changer. Let's make sure it gives your team the momentum and not the opposition. 

Starting at square one, it is the responsibility of the batter to swing at anything, no matter where the pitch is located. If possible, hit the ball to the opposite side, whether it's toward the second baseman if you are a right-handed hitter or toward the shortstop if you are a left-handed hitter. At the very least, you should try to hit the ball on the ground, because a line drive caught by an infielder will probably kill your inning.

To improve your chances of making contact, some batters swing with their hands only, take no stride and keep the swing extremely simple. (It's amazing how when some hitters do this, they actually hit the ball very well even though they are keeping it quite simple. There may be something to be learned by this. Sometimes less is indeed more.)

By far, the best count to hit and run on is 2-1. It used to be 2-0 or 3-1, which doesn't make any sense at all and has become obsolete. Why should a hitter have to swing at a 2-0 pitch if it is going to be ball three? Why should a hitter have to swing at a 3-1 pitch if it is going to be ball four?

The hit and run play should be strongly considered if there is one out and a weak hitter is on deck. The reason is that if the hitter gets a single and the runner advances from first to third base, the weaker hitter that follows does not have to get a hit to get the runner in from third base.

Responsibilities Of The Batter and the Runner:

1. First of all, the runner breaking from first base must be sure that the pitcher throws the pitch home.

2. The runner takes off for second base and either the shortstop or second baseman breaks to cover second base, thinking it's a stolen base attempt.

3. The runner should look toward the plate after a couple of steps. He should do this because it's very important that he knows whether the ball has been hit in the air, hit on the ground, swung at and missed, gets by the catcher, etc.

4. The batter must swing and try his best to make contact.

5. If the batter misses the pitch, the runner simply tries to steal second base. If the ball is grounded to an infielder or the pitcher, chances are there won't be a play at second base and the runner simply stays on second base. If it's a ground ball to an infielder, the runner has a chance to make second base safely or at the very least, a very good chance of breaking up the possible double play. If the ball goes through the infield for a hit, the runner can usually go to third base without hesitating.

6. The only time the runner needs the third base coach is if the ball is hit into right field because he can not turn around while running and to get a good view of the play as it unfolds.   

7. The batter's objective is to simply meet the ball and hit it sharply on the ground. If he can "shoot the ball" through the vacated area left by the second baseman or shortstop who are covering second base, that's an added bonus.

Usually, it's better to hit and run with a right-handed batter at the plate. If a righty shoots the ball the other way with the second baseman covering second base, the runner can almost always go to third base because it's a longer throw to third base for the right fielder.

If a lefty shoots it the other way toward left center field with the shortstop covering second base, the runner probably can not go to third base because it's a very short throw for the left fielder to third base. The speed of the runner is very seldom a factor in determining whether or not to attempt the hit and run.

Something to consider before putting on the hit and run play is you should have a hitter up who is a contact hitter and very seldom swings and misses at pitches. Remember, you're looking for a well hit grounder so if the pitcher is one who throws high heat, you may not want to risk the hit and run against him.

The Best Possible Situation For A Successful Hit And Run:

If you have a contact hitter against a pitcher who strikes out very few batters and the pitcher is a low ball pitcher who gets a lot of ground balls. (You have three very positive things working in your favor.) Your chance for success is very high in this ideal hit and run situation!

Larry Cicchiello is the successful author of "Excellent Baseball Coaching: 30 Seconds Away." For more FREE baseball tips click here
Hit, pitch & follow me on Twitter:!/LarryBaseball
 "Tweet" 3 baseball tips daily!

Larry Cicchiello's Blog

3 years 22 weeks ago
There is one situation in particular that the hit and run play is almost always successful. There are several things both the hitter and the runner must do, as well as what they should not do. The hit and run play can be a serious momentum changer. Let's make sure it gives your team the momentum... Read more.
3 years 23 weeks ago
If you knew nothing at all about a hitter's strengths, what if I told you there is a way a pitcher can find out what a hitter's strengths are before he even gets into the box? No, I haven't lost my mind and I resent that you're thinking that. Before you condemn me, let me clue you in on this secret... Read more.
Playing Tips
3 years 26 weeks ago
There are certain "mind games" both the hitter and the pitcher will play to disrupt  each other. They can have quite a negative effect on your opponent if you know what they are and how to use them properly.   As you advance to older levels of play, you will find that many... Read more.
3 years 36 weeks ago
I sincerely hope you don't have one of these two very common baseball hitting problems. If you are not relaxed at the plate you will have little chance for success as a hitter. And if you're not taking "the shortest route" to the ball you will have even less of a chance. I would venture that on any... Read more.
3 years 37 weeks ago
Any baseball pitcher whoever steps on the hill must use checkpoints. Period. End of story. This is not debatable issue. Read how checkpoints will help you tremendously if you are a coach, a player, or a baseball parent and your son is struggling on the mound! Making good use of checkpoints is one... Read more.
This day in baseball history

April 22

  • 2008

    On April 22, 2008, John Smoltz strikes out Felipe Lopez of t ...

  • 2007

    On April 22, 2007, four consecutive Boston batters hit home ...

  • 1980

    On April 22, 1980, Barry Foote hits a grand slam with two ou ...

More Baseball History


Will Red Sox Repeat in 2014: