Passed Balls vs Wild Pitches

Discussion in 'General Softball Discussions' started by PaulP, Aug 17, 2020.

  1. PaulP

    PaulP Member

    I recently had a conversation with my daughter’s catching coach, who played baseball, and he said pitches in the dirt are wild pitches. Here’s the wild pitches so far this year in MLB.

    Do softball rules on passed balls differ from baseball? I’m curious if the wild pitches shown in this tweet would be scored as passed balls in softball. It’s been my experience that in softball, a lot balls in the dirt or that are lunged for, are scored as passed balls (or worse, the runner gets awarded a stolen base if the ball happens to be blocked and a throw is made but the runner is safe advancing to the next base).
  2. First2Third

    First2Third Active Member

    Everyone of those with one possible exception was a wild pitch. The one that gave me pause was at 0:28-0:29. Looks like the catcher was crossed up. Pitch was not where it was supposed to be, but looked catchable from the crouch. C had a late reaction due to the cross-up and booted it up.
  3. flygirlsdad

    flygirlsdad Active Member

    If the runner makes the attempt on the pitch they should be credited a steal regardless of a passed ball or wild pitch.
  4. RedsDad

    RedsDad Member

    Just because the ball is in the dirt, does not make it a wild pitch in theory. Part of a catchers job is to block and control those errant pitches, and sometimes a pitcher is placing the ball there on purpose. I think the scorekeeper ruling of either “wild pitch” v. “passed ball” depends upon the judgement as to wether the pitch in the dirt was controllable, or could have been controlled with ordinary effort.
  5. Stedman00

    Stedman00 Active Member

    Depends on if the score keeper is parent of Pitcher or the Catcher. :D
  6. coachjwb

    coachjwb Well-Known Member

    While no doubt a good catcher should be able to stop a lot of balls in the dirt, if it hits the dirt before it reaches the catcher, it is scored a wild pitch. And I’m a pitcher’s father! Lol
  7. PaulP

    PaulP Member

    In baseball, it’s “ordinary effort.” Take an infielder’s throw to first that is in the dirt and the runner is safe. You hope the first baseman can scoop the ball and the get the runner out, but it’s still a throwing error if first baseman can’t. That same logic is consistently used in baseball when a pitch is in dirt.

    IMO, if something starts a chain reaction that allows the runner to advance safely to the next base, it may be better to measure what started the chain reaction rather than if a catcher should have controlled a pitch after it ricocheted off the dirt. But in the end, it’s the judgement of scorekeeping and how the head coach wants to track things.
    RedsDad, daboss and SonicMojo like this.
  8. yocoach

    yocoach Super Moderator Staff Member

    A wild pitch in softball is a pitch in which the catcher has to exert extraordinary effort. Basically this means, if the catcher has to move from her receiving stance, it is a wild pitch. If a pitch is in the dirt, it is a wild pitch since she should be dropping and blocking. If she has to stand up to try and receive it and misses it, it's a wild pitch. If she has to sidestep to receive it, it's a wild pitch.

    If the catcher doesn't have to move but, say as an example, the ball tips off the top of her mitt and hits the backstop, then it's a passed ball.
    PaulP and mroby5172 like this.
  9. BretMan2

    BretMan2 TSZ/OFC Umpire in Chief

  10. RedsDad

    RedsDad Member

  11. coachjwb

    coachjwb Well-Known Member

    It also should go without saying, that it's only a PB or WP if a runner advances a base because of it. So there either has to be a runner on base, or a batter who gets to 1B or even as far as 2B on a dropped/missed/wild strike 3. So it's possible for a pitcher to strike out a batter, but still end up with a wild pitch if the ball was in the dirt or over the catcher's head, etc., if the batter swung at it ... or I guess if the umpire was blind and called it one. :)
    daboss likes this.

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