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Doubled to Catcher; how rare?
Posted: 07 August 2006 10:26 PM   [ Ignore ]

Bernie Williams doubled to catcher this season on 5/21, against the Mets. Hence my handle.

How rare is this? Does anyone recall this happening before?  Does anyone have a full, all-of-history event file from Retrosheet that they can do a quick search through (looking for “D2”, right?).

Thanks.

Posted: 07 August 2006 10:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I apologize but…what does it mean to double to catcher? Thanks.

Posted: 08 August 2006 12:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]

Doubling to catcher means what it sounds like it means:

You reach second on a hit that was fielded by the catcher.


It happened in the top of the 4th inning here:
http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/boxscore?gid=260521121&page=plays

Described in the AP recap of the game as:

“Glavine’s defense let him down in the fourth. Bernie Williams led off with a high popup into a whipping wind, and it dropped no more than 50 feet from home plate. The 37-year-old Williams hustled it into a gift double—his second of the game.”

Posted: 08 August 2006 07:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I have to wonder about the scoring on those plays. Certainly a difficult wind would mitigate responsiblity for an error, but how do you assign it to a particular defensive zone? Unless, it falls in the fair part of the batting circle or tips off the catcher’s mitt as they dive for it…

Border-line possible but probably much rarer would be a double-to-catcher on a ground ball. Something like this might do it…

Tying run on third, two out. Batter bunts or hits a soft bouncer up either line. The catcher has to try to make an extraordinary play on the runner coming from third or batter-runner, no interference or obstruction on the play, but the ball (juuuusst… out of reach) cannot be fielded cleanly and rolls away allowing the run to score and the batter-runner to take second.

Since the game situation dictates the defensive response and the play requires much more than ordinary effort, I think you’d have to give the batter a double and assign it to the catcher since the play couldn’t have happened far from the plate.

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Posted: 08 August 2006 04:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]

More likely, perhaps, is a bunt down the third baseline that the catcher dives for, just misses, and the spin takes it back towards the first base line.  By the time, the catcher/pitcher/firstbasemen get to it, the runner is on second. 

Better still, a bunt with the go ahead run on third that looks like it might go foul and it is worth it to the defending team to watch it to see if it goes foul long enough for the batter to reach second.  The catcher picks it up when it doesn’t go foul.

Or, what happened to Bernie.

Posted: 08 August 2006 05:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]

I have to wonder about the scoring on those plays. Certainly a difficult wind would mitigate responsiblity for an error, but how do you assign it to a particular defensive zone? Unless, it falls in the fair part of the batting circle or tips off the catcher?s mitt as they dive for it?

That’s the whole point though. If responsibility could be assigned by the scorer on a pop fly like that, it probably would be scored an error, not a hit.  The “to catcher” part of the score isn’t saying it was the catcher’s fault, but rather that it was the catcher who eventually fielded the ball after it landed. Similarly if a ground ball gets hit through the infield for a single and is fielded by the Rightfielder, it would be scored “singles to right fielder,” though obviously it wasn’t his responsibility other than picking up the ball after the infielders failed to make the play.

   
 
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