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The Art of Scoring Crooked Numbers and Preventing Them in Baseball

The Excitement and Significance of Crooked Numbers in Baseball

Baseball is a sport that is filled with excitement and unpredictability, and one of the most thrilling moments is when the scoreboard lights up with a crooked number. But what does this term mean, and why is it so important in baseball?

In this article, we will explore the definition and significance of crooked numbers, as well as different ways they can occur and strategies for scoring them.

Definition and Origin of Crooked Numbers

So, what is a crooked number? In baseball, a crooked number refers to a score of two or more runs in a single inning.

This is called a crooked number because the scoreboard will show the score with a number that is not straight, such as 2, 3, 4, or more, making it look crooked. This term is commonly used by players, coaches, and fans alike.

The origin of the term crooked number is not entirely clear, but it likely comes from the fact that the numbers on the scoreboard are arranged in a straight line, and any score that deviates from that creates a crooked line. It may also have had a more negative connotation in the past when runs were scored through dishonest or illegal means, which could be referred to as crooked.

However, today, the term is used in a positive context to describe an impressive offensive performance.

Technical Situations that Can Lead to Crooked Numbers

There are several ways a team can score a crooked number in an inning. One of the most common ways is through hitting home runs, especially with multiple runners on base.

A grand slam, which is a home run with the bases loaded, is the ultimate crooked number and can turn a close game into a blowout. Extra-base hits, such as doubles and triples, can also lead to a crooked number by driving in multiple runners.

On the other hand, errors by the defense can allow runners to advance and score, leading to a crooked number by capitalizing on mistakes. Stolen bases can also play a role in creating crooked numbers, as they allow runners to advance into scoring position and put pressure on the opposing pitcher.

A walk, hit-by-pitch, or wild pitch followed by aggressive baserunning can also lead to crooked numbers.

Importance of Crooked Numbers in Baseball

Crooked numbers can be a turning point in a game and have a significant impact on the outcome. Scoring multiple runs in an inning can shift momentum and demoralize the opposing team, making them more likely to make mistakes or lose focus.

On the other hand, it can also energize and inspire the team that scores the crooked number, increasing their confidence and motivation. Crooked numbers can also affect the opposing team’s strategy.

They may need to alter their pitching or defensive approach to match the situation and prevent further runs from being scored. This can put stress on the pitching staff and make it harder to mount a comeback.

Crooked Numbers in Different Innings

While crooked numbers are often associated with big innings, they can occur in any inning. A team can manufacture a crooked number by scoring one run and then capitalizing on opportunities to score more and put the pressure on the opposing team.

One of the most memorable instances of a crooked number occurred in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series when the St. Louis Cardinals scored five runs in the sixth inning to tie the game against the Texas Rangers. This shifted the momentum of the series and ultimately led to the Cardinals winning the championship.

Another notable example is the Philadelphia Phillies scoring 10 runs in the first inning of Game 2 of the 2009 National League Division Series against the Colorado Rockies, setting a new postseason record for most runs scored in an inning.

Factors Affecting the Occurrence of Crooked Numbers

Several factors can affect the likelihood of scoring a crooked number. The quality of the opposing team’s pitching can play a significant role, as a weaker pitcher is more likely to give up runs.

Weather conditions can also impact the game, such as wind blowing out or in, affecting the flight of the ball. Team strategy and skill level can also influence the propensity for crooked numbers.

A team that is patient at the plate and waits for the right opportunities is more likely to score multiple runs in an inning. Likewise, a team that employs small ball tactics, such as bunting, stealing bases, and hitting-and-running, can put pressure on the defense and create scoring opportunities.

Strategies for Scoring Crooked Numbers

To score crooked numbers, a team must remain patient at the plate and capitalize on opportunities. This means hitting well with runners in scoring position, taking advantage of errors by the opposing team, and being aggressive on the basepaths.

Teams should also adopt a flexible strategy that can adapt to different game situations and pitching changes.


Crooked numbers are a significant part of baseball, and they can turn the tide of a game in a matter of moments. By understanding the technical situations that can lead to a crooked number, the importance of this offensive achievement, strategies for scoring them, factors affecting their occurrence, and notable examples in baseball history, one can appreciate their significance and be better equipped to enjoy and analyze the sport.

Preventing Crooked Numbers in Baseball:Defense is Key

As we have explored in previous sections, crooked numbers can play a critical role in a baseball games outcome, shifting momentum and putting opposing teams under pressure. While it is undoubtedly exciting for fans to see big innings and high-scoring games, for teams, it is equally important to prevent their opponents from scoring crooked numbers.

In this section, we will discuss the importance of preventing crooked numbers and strategies that can be employed to minimize their impact.

The Importance of Preventing Crooked Numbers

Winning at baseball is all about balancing offense and defense. While scoring runs is essential, preventing opposing teams from scoring is equally crucial.

Crooked numbers can be game-changing for several reasons. First, they signal an offensive team’s momentum, leading to decreased morale and focus in the defensive team.

Second, crooked numbers enhance the pressure on the opposing team’s bullpen and can force it to overextend itself prematurely. Third, they may result in the pitching staff needing to alter their game plan, putting additional stress on starting pitchers, relief pitchers, and catchers.

Strategies for Preventing Crooked Numbers

Effective prevention of crooked numbers mandates a defensive strategy that focuses on minimizing mistakes, securing outs, accurate pitching, disciplined fielding, and effective communication. Let’s discuss each of these areas in detail below.

Minimizing mistakes: Mistakes can quickly snowball into a crooked number. Thus, fielders must maintain focus and execute the fundamentals of baseball, such as catching fly balls and grounders, throwing accurately, and not overthinking their throws, especially under pressure.

Securing outs: In baseball, securing outs is crucial for preventing crooked numbers. Outs can be obtained in several ways, such as strikeouts, forcing runners out, and flyouts.

Fielders must be alert and work together to obtain outs promptly to prevent multiple runs. Accurate pitching: Pitchers play a crucial role in preventing crooked numbers.

They must master a variety of pitches and locate them accurately over the plate to reduce the chances of batters connecting with them. Additionally, pitchers must maintain a high degree of focus when faced with runners in scoring position, thus avoiding surrendering extra-base hits and base-on-balls that can allow crooked numbers.

Disciplined fielding: Fielding is where games are won or lost, and disciplined fielding is a core component of preventing crooked numbers. Furthermore, infielders must be able to handle the ball efficiently and make quick decisions, and outfielders must maintain their positioning and monitor fly balls, all working together to prevent runners from advancing and scores from piling up.

Effective communication: Finally, effective communication is vital in preventing crooked numbers. Fielders must maintain constant communication with each other, exchanging critical information such as the number of outs, runners on base, and expected plays.

Communication is especially important when shifting defensive strategies, such as bringing infielders closer to the plate for a double-play attempt. FAQs: Clearing up Misconceptions

Origin of the Term Crooked Number: The term crooked number comes from the fact that the numbers on the scoreboard are arranged in a straight line.

Any score that deviates from that straight line creates a crooked one.

Scoring More than Two Runs in an Inning: Any score over 1 is referred to as a crooked number.

It is not restricted to two runs but refers to any number that is greater than one. Importance of Understanding the Term Crooked Number: Understanding baseball terminology is essential to following the game’s nuances and to understand and appreciate each inning’s flow.

Moreover, the term crooked number is commonly used in baseball and knowing its significance allows audiences to understand the game narrative better and witness the momentum shift in real-time.


Preventing crooked numbers is an integral part of baseball and critical to a team’s defensive strategy. Effective defense prevents opponents from gaining momentum and puts them under pressure, making it increasingly difficult for them to come back into the game.

The combination of minimizing mistakes, securing outs, accurate pitching, disciplined fielding, and effective communication is instrumental in preventing crooked numbers and ensuring victories are within reach. In summary, crooked numbers are scores of two or more runs in a single inning, and they play a crucial role in baseball games by shifting momentum and affecting a team’s morale.

Preventing crooked numbers is equally important as scoring them, and defensive strategies such as minimizing mistakes, securing outs, accurate pitching, disciplined fielding, and effective communication are instrumental in achieving this. Understanding the term crooked number is essential for appreciating the game’s nuances and witnessing its momentum shifts.

Overall, a balance between offense and defense is key to winning games, and a team’s ability to prevent opponents from scoring crooked numbers is instrumental in achieving this.


– What is a crooked number?

A crooked number is a score of two or more runs in a single inning. – Why is preventing crooked numbers important?

Preventing crooked numbers is important for balancing offense and defense, taking pressure off of pitching staff, and avoiding momentum shifts in the game. – What strategies can be employed to prevent crooked numbers?

Strategies for preventing crooked numbers include minimizing mistakes, securing outs, accurate pitching, disciplined fielding, and effective communication. – What is the importance of understanding the term crooked number?

Understanding the term crooked number allows audiences to follow the game’s nuances, witness momentum shifts, and appreciate the significance of each inning. – How does defense impact the game of baseball?

Defense is critical in baseball and plays an instrumental role in winning games through a balance between offensive and defensive strategies.

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