Baseball is one of the most popular sports in the world. It is primarily played in the United States, but it is also popular in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. Throughout the game, there are several tactics and strategies that teams use to beat their opponents. The game is usually a 9-inning contest, broken up into two halves. Each team gets one turn to bat and the winner is the team that scores the most runs after the nine innings are up. If a tie is reached, additional innings are played until the home team has a lead.
Batters have two primary goals when playing baseball: to become a base runner and to hit the ball into fair territory. When a hitter is put out, he must return to his base to wait for the next person to bat. After the runner is out, the batter is ready to take another shot at the ball. This can be done by swinging at a pitch, or by catching the ball in the air.
In the field, the catcher is the last line of defense. He is also the player who accepts the pitch from the pitcher and returns the ball to the pitcher. Since the catcher is padded and well protected, runners will often try to knock the ball out of his hand.
Runners can advance once, but they can only circle the bases once for each plate appearance. If the runner is tagged before the ball hits the ground, the runner must tag up and run to the next base. Depending on the situation, the runner may be forced to run, or he can continue to advance.
A ball that strikes the catcher’s glove can be caught by the outfielder at the very last second. Outfielders are skilled in running to catch a line drive while keeping their stride and not losing it. They are also able to thrust their glove into position at the last minute if a runner is about to advance.
The goal of the hitter is to become a base runner and score as many runs as possible. He can choose to swing at any type of pitch, but he will need to make sure that the pitch is good enough to hit. However, he can also take a riskier swing if the pitch is harder to hit.
The goal of the pitcher is to prevent the hitter from hitting the ball cleanly. Pitchers can throw pitches that are harder to hit, or they can throw pitches outside the strike zone.
During the early 20th century, the games were generally lower in scoring. This changed in the 1920s, when rule changes gave advantages to hitters. Many of these changes were prompted by players like Babe Ruth, who hit more home runs as an individual than as part of a team. His success helped change the nature of the game and undoubtedly influenced the rise of Major League Baseball.