Outs The First Lesson In Learning Baseball
The second highest goal (number one is making runs) is to minimize the number of outs one can possibly make.
The batter has the most chances of making outs. The batter is out if his ball is caught by a fielder in a fair territory before it touches the ground (called a line out or a fly out).
The same is true if the batter is tagged before reaching base safely.
Other batter outs
The other way a batter makes an out is when the fielder touches first base while holding the ball before the batter can touch base. There is an out, too, if the bunt lands foul on the third strike.
The third strike is caught by the catcher. (If the catcher fails to catch the third strike, he must tag the batter with the ball or throw it to first before the batter reaches there.)
Another one is an infield fly. (The infield fly rule is to prevent the fielder from purposely dropping the ball and allowing him to recover it quickly and make a double play.)
The runner, on the other hand, can also make plenty of outs. Here is the list.
the runner is tagged standing off the base;
the runner runs outside the baseline;
the runner is hit by a batted ball;
the runner fails to touch the bag;
the runner has another runner behind him and is forced out when the base he is running to is tagged; and,
two runners are on the same base;
Two outs can also be recorded in one play, most usually where there is a runner on first and the batter hits a ground ball. (This is called GDP or ground into double play.)
The fielders tag second base, and then throw the ball to first base for the second force out.
A sacrifice is when a player makes an out to cause a strategic outcome. An example is a sacrifice fly where there is a runner on third.
The batter hits a deep fly ball. The runner tags up or waits until the ball is caught, and runs home before the outfielder can throw the ball to home.
The other key move is the sacrifice bunt. The object is to move a runner waiting in his present base (usually at first base, most favorably at third) into a scoring position (going to the next base or a home run).
Generally, this is done when there are no outs yet and a runner is on first base. The batter will bunt his bat (not hitting it the usual way but allowing the ball to hit his outstretched bat).
The bunt causes the ball to dribble along the foul line. This gives the first or third baseman to run toward the plate to field the ball. The runner, meanwhile, is given a chance to move on to the next plate or to a home run.
Of course, all these look interesting on paper, but to correctly learn baseball is to do it in the field.