Q:

# What is a crooked number in baseball?

A:

Crooked numbers are a baseball term for a number higher than one that has been placed on the line score as a result of a point made during a half inning. The line score displays the runs, hits and errors made by each team over the course of a game.

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Credit: Barry Chin/The Boston Globe Boston Globe Getty Images

Line scores are divided into nine columns, for each inning, and two rows, one for each team playing. During a half inning, either the away or the home team is at bat and able to score points. When a team scores two or more runs during their time at bat during an inning, they are said to have put up a crooked number. Crooked numbers are called crooked because they are neither straight like ones nor round like zeros. If a single team makes a single point in each of several successive half innings, they are said to have put up a picket fence, because the series of ones resemble the planks of a fence.

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