The 4-Strike Out Inning? …… Who Knew?

March 6th, 2011 at 10:34 pm   In response to my question about how Tim Lincecum would have been able to get 4 strike-outs in one inning today, D to the P  on Andrew Baggarly’s Blog , writes the following:

“On a swing-and-miss for strike three, if the ball hits the ground and skips by the catcher, the batter can either concede the strike out (walk shamefully back to his dugout) or can try to reach 1st base and be safe — in which case, the catcher will either have to tag him out or throw to 1st to complete the out. However, the pitcher still gets credit for the strikeout regardless of the final outcome (batter makes

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it to first base safe, or the catcher tags/throws him out).  During today’s game, the ball got by the Catcher, Buster Posey, on a swinging strike 3 yet the batter made it safely to 1st base after a high throw from Posey.  Pitcher Tim Lincecum got credit for the strikeout (it shows up in the box score as a strike out) but the out does not get recorded. Therefore, there is still zero outs (provided there wasn’t any outs to begin with). Had Timmy been able to then strike out the side (for the necessary 3 outs), he would have had the rare 4 strikeout inning.   One can assume, that theoretically a pitcher can have 5, 6, or more strikeouts in an inning if the above explanation were to occur multiple times an inning,  although, this is HIGHLY improbable. I wonder what the record is for most K’s in an inning? Forgive me, as I am too lazy to search myself …..Hope this helps! ” 

Thanks buddy, it really does help.  This was a new one to me.  And I’m a little lazy tonight too, but had to look it up.   Just in case you’re interested, the most strike-outs in an inning?  Four!  And it’s happened more often than you’d think!   Here, Baseball Almanac  lists the pitchers for both the American League and National league.  Amazingly, Pitcher Chuck Finley has managed this feat on three separate occasions!    Just wondering how the scorekeeper would score the strikeout without recording the out in the inning.   Well, that’s a search engine chore for another time.   G’nite all!


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