Guide to Scoring Baseball -- Second Inning

Christopher Swingley

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Top of the Second

[ cubs second inning ]

cubs second inning

As we rejoin the action in the second inning, the score stands at 2-0 Chicago. The first inning was exciting, with 3 hits by the Cubs, and an infield hit that Delino Deshields beat out, only to get picked off at first by Steve Trachsel on the next pitch.

As you remember, Mickey Morandini made the last out for the Cubs in the first inning, so we start scoring the second inning in the second column and the eighth row. You can see the diagonal line on the left of the box above Scott Servais' box in the image on the right. His is also the box where the scoring is colored red. You will notice that the inning actually starts on the second box up from the bottom in the image -- I've just combined all the action for this half inning into one image (with six boxes removed in between Lance Johnson and Scott Servais).

Mercker throws Servais a strike, a ball, and then Servais hits one to center field. Ray Lankford camps out under it and makes the catch to retire the first Cub in this inning. We have already recorded the strike and the ball in the appropriate boxes. For the play we indicate the out as F8 for fly out by the center fielder, and put a 1 with a circle around it to indicate the first out.

In the next box down, the batter is the Cubs pitcher Steve Trachsel. Remember that we're discussing the bottom box in the image. Mercker throws Trachsel a ball, and then trades balls and strikes until a count of 2 - 2. Mercker's fifth pitch to Trachsel is fouled off. The sixth pitch is hit to Ray Lankford for the second out. We have recored the balls and strikes in their boxes, added a plus for the foul ball in the lower left corner, and then record the out as F8. The second out of the Cubs inning is written as a 2 with a circle around it.

If you are filling out your scorecard as we proceed through the guide you will notice that now there are no players left in the lineup, so we move to the top of the lineup (and the first row on the scorecard) and Lance Johnson. His at-bat in the second inning is right next to his at-bat in the first. On the image on the right, you'll see Johnson's at-bat at the top of the image. As the card gets filled up sequentially like this you will see the importance of the diagonal line that indicates the end of each half inning.

Lance swings at the first pitch from Mercker and drives it to the left fielder, Ron Gant who makes the catch and retires the side. We record the play as F7, put a 3 with a circle around it to indicate the third out, and draw a diagonal line in the lower right corner of Johnson's box to lead us to the correct box for the next inning.

As the teams exchange positions on the field, we can re-cap the scoring and other statistics. There were 0 runs scored, 0 hits, 0 errors by the Cardinals, and 0 men left on base. Counting up the pitches, we see that Mercker threw 7 strikes in 10 pitches -- a much better inning than his previous effort in the first inning. Looks like Mercker has calmed down. In the scoring column at the bottom of the scorecard, we write six zeros (no hits, runs, errors, men left on base, strikeouts or walks).

Bottom of the Second

[ cardinals second inning ]

cardinals second inning

After Mark McGwire's disappointing ground ball, the Cardinals are up to bat again with Ray Lankford leading off. As in the top half of the inning, I've colored this first at-bat in red, above the next two at-bats. Trachsel's first pitch to him is a ball, then two strikes, and another ball. Lankford swings at the fifth pitch, and misses for a strikeout. The strikeout in the last inning against Fernando Tatis was a called strikeout and we wrote it as a backwards K. A swinging strikeout is recorded as a forwards K as seen in the image on the left of the page. We've also recorded the balls and strikes as they happened, and the first out.

With one out, Ron Gant comes up to the plate. He watches the first two pitches cross the plate for strikes. Down 0 - 2 he takes a defensive swing at a pitch and fouls it off. If we were recording balls and strikes, at this point we would have a 1 and a 2 in the two strike boxes, and a x in the lower left corner of Gant's box. Gant shows excellent patience on the next offering, holding up on a bad pitch from Trachsel. Since this was the fourth pitch thrown, we write a 4 in the first ball box. This way we can tell that Trachsel's third pitch was the first ball fouled off by Gant. The next pitch is also fouled off, and then Gant takes one the other way. It is caught by Sammy Sosa in right field. We record the play as F9 as well as indicate the second out.

The Cardinals right fielder John Mabry now comes up to the plate. Trachsel misses with the first two pitches, but gets the next two over. The 2 - 2 pitch is hit by Mabry into center field, where it is caught by Lance Johnson to retire the side. This is recorded as F8. We record the third out, and put a diagonal line in the lower right corner of the box.

Trachsel is cruising, retiring the first six batters he has faced in order. A count of the pitches recorded shows he threw 11 strikes in 16 pitches. There were 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 players left on base, and the Cubs didn't commit any errors, so the score tally shows all zeros except in the strikeout box (K) we write a 1 for the strikeout on Lankford.

The second inning has come to a close. You should feel pretty comfortable with the way we have scored this inning, since there were no tricky plays to figure out.

[ Page last updated 16-Apr-2005 ]