Most sports have their own specific terminology that may often be difficult for those outside the game to decipher and understand.
This is particularly true for baseball, whose lingo can sometimes confuse even the fans who follow the game more closely.
In addition, the same or similar terms are occasionally used to describe different plays or situations.
Some of these terms are expressed through numbers or combinations of numbers which makes it even harder for newbies to understand.
An example of this is the term “1 for 3” which can refer to several different things that happen during a game.
So, those who are just getting familiar with baseball and getting the hang of rules and terminology can often find it difficult to determine its true meaning.
To help out, I’ll explain what does 1 for 3 mean in baseball and what various situations this term is used to describe.
So, let’s dive in!
What Does 1 for 3 Mean in Baseball?
The meaning of “1 for 3” and similar phrases will mostly depend on the context and what’s currently going on around the field.
It can be used to describe situations and plays related to pitching, getting on bases, fielding, and several other circumstances over the course of a baseball game.
When used to describe an aspect of pitching performance, the term “1 for 3” usually refers to the number of pitches a pitcher needs to strike out a batter during one inning.
Commonly, pitchers will throw around 15 pitches during the half of an inning when their team is on defense.
However, on extremely rare occasions, a pitcher will manage to strike out all three batters in an inning using only three pitches for each.
So, the pitcher will retire 1 batter for every 3 pitches he throws. As it occurs so rarely, this feat is often called the immaculate inning.
1 for 3 for a Batter
When referring to a batting performance, the phrase 1 for 3 usually means that the batter got one hit in three plate appearances or at-bats.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that he reached the base only once, as he could have done it by a walk or in some other way.
What Does 1-3 PutOut Mean in Baseball?
In baseball, each defensive position is assigned a number for scorekeeping purposes and each play is described by using those numbers to explain what happened on the field.
For 1-3 putout, all you need to know is that the assigned number for the pitcher is always 1, and the number 3 stands for the first baseman.
So, when the announcer says that there has been a 1-3 putout, it means that the pitcher fielded a ball, (ground ball in most cases) and threw it out to the first basemen for the out.
In this case, the first baseman is awarded a putout, while the pitcher is credited with an assist.
What is a 3-1 Count in Baseball?
The count, in both baseball and softball, refers to the number of balls and strikes a batter has in their current turn at bat.
If the count reaches four balls, the batter is allowed to walk to the base or earn base on balls.
On the other hand, when the count reaches four strikes, the batter is out or retired.
Obviously, different counts may be in favor of the pitcher or the batter.
When the batter has two more balls than strikes, that puts him in a favorable position, as he can safely assume that the pitcher will have to throw the ball into the strike zone to avoid throwing the ball.
This type of count is called hitter’s count, and the typical one is 3-1.
The two-ball cushion allows the batter to be picky with his swings as even with a strike they have another chance before striking out.
What Does 1-2-3 Inning Mean in Baseball?
The baseball phrase “1-2-3 inning” describes an inning where a pitcher goes against and retires three batters without any of them advancing to the next base.
This phrase is also known as “three up, three down.”
So, if only one of the batters advances to the first base, then that inning (or half-inning, rather) can no longer be described as a 1-2-3 inning for the pitcher.
The 1-2-3 inning is basically the goal of any pitcher in a single inning.
Of course, unlike the situation I previously described, the pitcher can retire three batters on any number of pitches.
The most pitches recorded in a 1-2-3 inning is 28.
What is 1-2-3 Double Play in Baseball?
A double play occurs when two offensive players are put out on the same play.
This type of double play occurs when the pitcher (1) scoops the ground ball and quickly throws it to the catcher (2), forcing the first out, and then, the catcher fires the ball to the first baseman (3) for the second out of the play.
The 1-2-3 double play is one of the rarest double plays in baseball, but also one of the most exciting.
The reason why it’s so rare is that for the 1-2-3 double play to take place, bases have to be loaded and involve a force out at the home plate.
Also, it doesn’t happen so often that a ground ball is hit cleanly toward the pitcher so he can swiftly field it and move it to the catcher.
Plus, it has to happen when the bases are already loaded.
What is Triple Play (3P) in Baseball?
Even rarer than 1-2-3 double play is the triple play or 3P as it’s recorded by scorekeepers.
It happens when the defensive team records three outs on just one single play.
On average they occur only once every five seasons and there have been only 733 triple plays in almost 150 years. There are several reasons for this.
Firstly, they can occur only when the team currently on offense has at least two runners on base but nobody is out.
Plus, a triple play can happen only when the ball is hit a certain way.
The batter needs to send a hard line drive directly toward the infielder who then has to field the ball cleanly and swiftly perform an action to catch the opponent off-guard.
Commonly, the triple play also depends on the baserunners making some sort of blunder or simply misreading where the ball is going.
What is Triple (3B) in Baseball?
The triple (3B for statistical and scorekeeping purposes) is often called the most exciting play in baseball, but the chances to see it are very rare.
It involves the batter safely reaching the third base after the hit without the defensive attempt to put out another runner or the benefit of a defensive error.
The triples are much less common than doubles or home runs as they require several things to line up perfectly.
First of all, the ball has to be hit to the far part of the field (commonly right field) or to take a weird bounce, moving away from the fielder, so the batter can have enough time to run the bases.
Plus, the batter has to be a very quick runner to make all bases in time, as modern MLB defenses are commonly very skilled and swiftly get the ball back to the infield.
What is 3-Hole in Baseball?
One of the essential aspects of the offensive strategy in baseball is the team’s batting order.
The batters don’t just randomly take turns going against the pitcher, but the order in which they do it is carefully selected by the manager according to their skills.
Some of the positions in the batting order have widely-accepted nicknames while others are usually called by their place in the lineup in form of the word “hole.”
The batter in the 3-hole or the one batting third is, in most cases, the player with the best all-around skillset in the lineup.
Usually, they have high batting averages but are not super-quick.
They’re typically expected to reach base for the cleanup hitter, who’s next in line, and also help drive in baserunners himself.
Basically, their role is to keep their team in the inning and put the following batters in a position to score.
Knowing what does 1 for 3 mean in baseball and getting familiar with other similar terms will certainly make following the game much more enjoyable.
These phrases and the whole baseball lingo may seem confusing and overwhelming at first.
Nevertheless, once you start to understand the game better, you’ll see that things are not that complicated and that most of these terms are used to describe relatively simple and straightforward events on the field.
Many of these expressions have gone beyond baseball and found their way into the everyday language we use.
Learning what they mean will add another dimension to your baseball fandom and allow you to discover more beautiful and exciting things that this wonderful game has to offer.
Luckily, with all the resources available nowadays, it’s easy to quickly learn whatever you want to know and easily clear any misunderstanding of baseball jargon.