The strategy for the game of baseball is just like the strategy in every sport, you want to win, by scoring more points (in this case runs) than your opponent. The traditional setup for a major league baseball game is simple: the defense sends nine players out to the field. The players and positions consist of:
- One pitcher, who stands on the mound in the center of the infield
- One catcher, who crouches behind home plate
- Four infielders: 1st base, 2nd base, 3rd base, shortstop
- Three outfielders: right field, left field, center field
The game starts with the home team sending its defense out to the field first.
Their are different strategies that the manager will call for, depending on the type of hitter at bat. Some forms of this strategy are shifting the fielders. For example, if there is a right-handed hitter who consistently pulls the ball to left field, the manager may call for a shift in his infield or outfield for everyone to move towards right field or third base.
A different type of strategy is calling for the hitting team to executive specific plays to advance a baserunner, such as the sacrifice bunt, stolen base or hit-and-run, or simply asking for a hitter to do everything to advance the runner through at "productive out". Strategies of this type are often called "small ball" tactics, as they increase the probability of scoring one run, but lower those of scoring more, thus being more suited for a low-scoring game (or when one run will be enough to win the game). There are also opposite "big inning" strategies, such as having batters take pitches, work the count for a possible base on balls and look for a pitch they can hit with power.
On the pitching side, strategy involves choices about the composition of the starting rotation and the usage of relief pitchers, as well as tactical move such as calling for a pick-off, a pitch-out or an intentional walk, or simply pitching around a batter.
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