How Hitters Make Outs in Baseball
Part of the Baseball For Dummies Cheat Sheet
Outs are one of the fundamental elements of the game — they’re baseball’s currency, its equivalent of time. You only get 27 of them in a game, so the team on offense strives to avoid them while the defending team craves them.
Refer to this list at a glance to find the most common ways a hitter can make an out in baseball. This list can help you follow the action and grasp why a hitter who just made one is bashing the dugout’s water cooler in frustration and why the pitcher is doing a fist pump.
A fielder catches your fair or foul ball before it touches the ground (unless it’s a foul tip to the catcher with less than two strikes).
You hit a foul tip (a ball caught by the catcher off your bat) for strike three.
After hitting the ball, you or first base is tagged before you touch the base.
The umpire calls three strikes during your at-bat (whether you swing or not).
A ball that you hit fair hits your bat a second time while you’re in fair territory.
While running outside the foul lines, you obstruct a fielder’s throw.
You hit the ball with one or both feet outside the batter’s box or step from one batter’s box to another while the pitcher winds up.
You obstruct the catcher from fielding or throwing.
You run into your own fairly batted ball while running from home to first base.