In baseball, a pinch hitter is a substitute batter. Batters can be substituted at any time while the ball is dead (not in active play); the manager may use any player that has not yet entered the game as a substitute. Unlike basketball, American football, or ice hockey however, baseball does not have a "free substitution rule" and thus the replaced player in baseball is never allowed back into that game.
Pinch hitters are often used to replace a starting player when the pinch hitter is thought to have a better chance of reaching base or helping other runners to score. (In slang, a " pinch" is a desperate situation.)
In the National League of Major League Baseball, the Central League in Japan, and various other minor leagues, pinch hitters are often substituted for the pitcher in the middle or late innings of a game. This is because pitchers are often poor hitters and get tired after six to seven innings of pitching. This use of a pinch hitter is often part of a double switch, in which a relief pitcher replaces a defensive player who will not bat soon, and a defensive player replaces the former starting pitcher that is currently up to bat. This strengthens the lineup in the short term by preventing the relief pitcher from batting and allowing a better hitter to bat. Compared to a single substitution of a pinch hitter for a pitcher, this allows the relief pitcher to pitch additional innings. A Pinch Hitter can be substituted at any time in an at-bat.
The American League of Major League Baseball, the Pacific League in Japan, and various other leagues use the designated hitter rule; thus pitchers seldom bat, removing a possible situation where a pinch hitter may be desired.
|John Vander Wal||129|
|04-30-1937||Ace Parker||Philadelphia||9th Inning|
|09-05-1962||John Kennedy||Washington||6th Inning|
|06-19-1963||Gates Brown||Detroit||5th Inning|
|09-30-1964||Bill Roman||Detroit||7th Inning|
|09-12-1965||Brant Alyea||Washington||6th Inning|
|08-07-1968||Joe Keough||Oakland||8th Inning|
|04-07-1977||Al Woods||Toronto||5th Inning|
|04-14-1936||Eddie Morgan||St. Louis||7th Inning|
|05-21-1948||Les Layton||New York||9th Inning|
|09-14-1950||Ted Tappe||Cincinnati||8th Inning|
|04-12-1955||Chuck Tanner||Milwaukee||8th Inning|
|09-08-1998||Marlon Anderson||Philadelphia||7th Inning|
|04-17-2001||Gene Stechschulte||St. Louis||6th Inning|
|08-21-2005||Mike Jacobs||New York||5th Inning|
|09-01-2005||Jeremy Hermida||Florida||7th Inning|
|09-11-2007||Justin Maxwell||Washington||4th Inning|
|09-08-2008||Mark Saccomanno||Houston||5th Inning|
However, "pinch hitter" usually refers to an aggressive batsman moved up the batting order from his usual place, used in situations where scoring runs quickly becomes more important than keeping wickets in hand.