How Many Innings are There in a Baseball Game?
How Do Innings Work?
In each half-inning, one team takes a turn to bat (on offense) while the other team is fielding (on defense). When the half-inning ends, the teams switch and the team playing defense is now on offense. A team can only score when it is their turn to bat; they cannot score while fielding. Half-innings end when the offensive team has three (3) outs. We will learn more about outs later in this chapter.
Top of the Inning/Top-Half
The first part of each inning is called the top of the inning/the top-half. The away team is always at-bat during the top-half, while the home team is on defense. When three (3) outs are made, the teams switch positions and transition into the bottom of the inning/bottom-half.
Bottom of the Inning/Bottom-Half
The second part of each inning is called the bottom of the inning/the bottom-half. The home team is always at-bat during the bottom-half, while the away team is on defense. When three outs are made, the inning is over.
Middle of the Inning
The middle of the inning is the transition period between the top-half and bottom-half of each inning. For MLB games, the middle of the inning is 2 minutes and 25 seconds for locally televised games, or 2 minutes and 45 seconds for nationally televised games.
The 9th Inning
Sometimes the bottom of the ninth inning (often abbreviated as the bottom of the ninth) is not played or ends before three (3) outs are made. The game is over and play will end immediately in the 9th inning if: