Official Rules(view all)

9.07 Stolen Bases and Caught Stealing

9.07 Stolen Bases and Caught Stealing

The official scorer shall credit a stolen base to a runner whenever the runner advances one base unaided by a hit, a putout, an error, a force-out, a fielder’s choice, a passed ball, a wild pitch or a balk, subject to the following:

(a)  When a runner starts for the next base before the pitcher delivers the ball and the pitch results in what ordinarily is scored a wild pitch or passed ball, the official scorer shall credit the runner with a stolen base and shall not charge the misplay, unless, as a result of the misplay, the stealing runner advances an extra base, or another runner also advances, in which case the official scorer shall score the wild pitch or passed ball as well as the stolen base.

(b)  When a runner is attempting to steal, and the catcher, after receiving the pitch, makes a wild throw trying to prevent the stolen base, the official scorer shall credit the runner with a stolen base. The official scorer shall not charge an error unless the wild throw permits the stealing runner to advance one or more extra bases, or permits another runner to advance, in which case the official scorer shall credit the runner with the stolen base and charge one error to the catcher.

(c)  When a runner, attempting to steal, or after being picked off base, evades being put out in a run-down play and advances to the next base without the aid of an error, the official scorer shall credit the runner with a stolen base. If another runner also advances on the play, the official scorer shall credit both runners with stolen bases. If a runner advances while another runner, attempting to steal, evades being put out in a run-down play and returns safely, without the aid of an error, to the base he originally occupied, the official scorer shall credit a stolen base to the runner who advances.

(d) When a double-or triple-steal is attempted and one runner is thrown out before reaching and holding the base such runner is attempting to steal, no other runner shall be credited with a stolen base.

(e) When a runner is tagged out after oversliding a base, while attempting either to return to that base or to advance to the next base, the official scorer shall not credit such runner with a stolen base.

(f ) When in the scorer’s judgment a runner attempting to steal is safe because of a muffed throw, the official scorer shall not credit a stolen base. The official scorer shall credit an assist to the fielder who made the throw, charge an error to the fielder who muffed the throw and charge the runner with “caught stealing.”

(g) The official scorer shall not score a stolen base when a runner advances solely because of the defensive team’s indifference to the runner’s advance. The official scorer shall score such a play as a fielder’s choice.

Rule 9.07(g) Comment: The scorer shall consider, in judging whether the defensive team has been indifferent to a runner’s advance, the totality of the circumstances, including the inning and score of the game, whether the defensive team had held the runner on base, whether the pitcher had made any pickoff attempts on that runner before the runner’s advance, whether the fielder ordinarily expected to cover the base to which the runner advanced made a move to cover such base, whether the defensive team had a legitimate strategic motive to not contest the runner’s advance or whether the defensive team might be trying impermissibly to deny the runner credit for a stolen base. For example, with runners on first and third bases, the official scorer should ordinarily credit a stolen base when the runner on first advances to second, if, in the scorer’s judgment, the defensive team had a legitimate strategic motive—namely, preventing the runner on third base from scoring on the throw to second base—not to contest the runner’s advance to second base. The official scorer may conclude that the defensive team is impermissibly trying to deny a runner credit for a stolen base if, for example, the defensive team fails to defend the advance of a runner approaching a league or career record or a league statistical title.

(h) The official scorer shall charge a runner as “caught stealing” if such runner is put out, or would have been put out by errorless play, when such runner

(1)  tries to steal;

(2)  is picked off a base and tries to advance (any move toward the next base shall be considered an attempt to advance); or

(3)  overslides while stealing.

Rule 9.07(h) Comment: In those instances where a pitched ball eludes the catcher and the runner is put out trying to advance, the official scorer shall not charge any “caught stealing.” The official scorer shall not charge any caught stealing when a runner is awarded a base due to obstruction or when a runner is called out due to interference by the batter. The official scorer shall not charge a runner with a caught stealing if such runner would not have been credited with a stolen base had such runner been safe (for example, when a catcher throws the runner out after such runner tries to advance after a ball that had eluded the catcher on a pitch).