More Sports




Baseball 101Baseball Base RunningBaseball BattingBaseball Batting StancesBaseball Common PenaltiesBaseball DefenseBaseball FieldingBaseball HistoryBaseball Hit TypesBaseball InningsBaseball OffenseBaseball OutsBaseball Pitch TypesBaseball PitchingBaseball RunsBaseball Strike ZoneBaseball UmpiresBaseball WalksBaseball Windup And Stretch Pitching


10 Best Baseball Books In 202010 Most Common Baseball InjuriesHow Do You Win In Baseball?How Does Baseball Betting Work?Is Baseball An Olympic Sport?MLB All Star Game formatTop 10 Baseball BallsTop 10 Baseball BooksTop 10 Baseball BrandsTop 10 Baseball CardsTop 10 Baseball Games All TimeTop 10 Baseball MoviesTop 10 Baseball Video GamesTop 10 Fantasy Baseball PitchersTop 10 Fantasy Baseball WebsitesTop 10 MLB Baseball PlayersTop 10 Most Iconic Moments In MLB HistoryTop 10 NCAA Baseball ProgramsTop 25 Baseball Players All TimeTop 30 Baseball StadiumsTop 5 Baseball Coaching MistakesWhen do you have to run in baseball?


Baseball Equipment List


Baseball Leagues


Around The Horn BaseballBaseball Ahead In The CountBaseball BallBaseball BaserunnerBaseball BatterBaseball Batter-runnerBaseball Batting OrderBaseball Behind In The CountBaseball BuntsBaseball Ceremonial PitchBaseball Contact PlayBaseball CountBaseball Even CountBaseball Fly BallBaseball Force PlaysBaseball Foul BallBaseball Full CountBaseball Ground BallsBaseball Hitter's CountBaseball Home RunsBaseball Lingo And TerminologyBaseball OverthrowBaseball RotationBaseball RundownBaseball StrikesCaught Looking BaseballFoul Tip BaseballLead Off BaseballPick Off BaseballThe World Baseball Classic

MLB Teams

Baseball List Of Mlb Teams


Albert Pujols Bio And FactsAlex Rodriguez Bio And FactsBabe Ruth Bio And FactsBarry Bonds Bio And FactsBryce Harper Bio And FactsDerek Jeter Bio And FactsHank Aaron Bio And FactsJackie Robinson Bio And FactsMickey Mantle Bio And FactsMike Trout Bio And FactsTed Williams Bio And FactsWillie Mays Bio And Facts


Baseball CatcherBaseball Center FielderBaseball First BasemanBaseball Hitter TypesBaseball Left FielderBaseball PitcherBaseball PositionsBaseball Relief PitcherBaseball Right FielderBaseball Second BasemanBaseball ShortstopBaseball StarterBaseball Third Baseman


Baseball Appeal RulesBaseball Automatic Strike RulesBaseball Balk RulesBaseball Base Running RulesBaseball Batting RulesBaseball Dead Ball RulesBaseball Designated Hitter RulesBaseball Disabled ListBaseball Ejection RulesBaseball Extra Innings RulesBaseball Fair Or Foul Ball RulesBaseball Fighting RulesBaseball Forfeit RulesBaseball Ground Rule DoubleBaseball Infield Fly RulesBaseball Interference RulesBaseball Pinch Hitter RulesBaseball Pinch Runner RulesBaseball Pitching RulesBaseball Rain Delay RulesBaseball Replay RulesBaseball Roster RulesBaseball Rules And RegulationsBaseball Rundown RulesBaseball Sliding And Diving RulesBaseball Stealing RulesBaseball Substitution RulesBaseball Tag Out RulesBaseball Tagging Up RulesBaseball Timeout RulesBaseball Wild Pitch RulesHow Does Scoring Work In Baseball?Top 10 Baseball RulesWhat Are The Rules Of Baseball?


Baseball AttemptBaseball Batting AverageBaseball Box ScoresBaseball Defensive StatsBaseball ErrorsBaseball Offensive StatsBaseball Pitcher StatsBaseball StatisticsWhat Is Slugging Percentage In Baseball


Baseball ShiftingBaseball StrategyDouble Switch BaseballHidden Ball Trick Baseball

The Field

Baseball AlleyBaseball Base PathBaseball BaselineBaseball Batter's BoxBaseball Black SeatsBaseball Bleacher SeatsBaseball Catcher's BoxBaseball DugoutBaseball Field ComponentsBaseball Field DimensionsBaseball Field LinesBaseball Foul PoleBaseball Home PlateBaseball No Man's LandBaseball Pitching MoundBaseball Running LaneBaseball The FieldBaseball Uecker SeatsBullpen BaseballCenterfield BaseballCoaches Box BaseballFirst Base BaseballFoul Line BaseballInfield BaseballLeft Field BaseballOutfield BaseballRight Field BaseballSecond Base BaseballThird Base Baseball

Baseball Wild Pitch Rules

Table of Contents



As a fielder, sometimes you'll make a mistake. It happens very rarely at the professional level, but humans aren't perfect. Errors do happen and when they do, they can affect the outcome of a game. There are two types of throwing errors we will cover:

  1. Overthrows
  2. Wild Pitches

While wild pitches are not technically considered overthrows, they occur when a pitcher throws a baseball that is so far from the strike zone that the catcher is unable to catch it. In this case, runners may advance.

If the pitch was the batter's third strike, the batter may also advance to first base. However, it is not considered a wild pitch if no runner advanced bases. If the bases are empty and the batter had less than two strikes, it is not considered a wild pitch even if the catcher was unable to catch it.

PRO TIP: A runner is awarded to two bases on any wild ball that is thrown into the stands based on where the runners were on base.

What is a Wild Pitch?

A Wild Pitch is a penalty that can be dealt to the pitcher in a situation where the pitch is so far outside of the strike box that the catcher can't control it. A Wild Pitch can only be called in the event that runners are able to advance onto a new base during the time period before the ball is recovered. Simply put, it occurs when the pitch isn't caught by the catcher due to the pitcher's fault and runners advance as a result.

Additionally, regardless of how many runners advance during the play, the Wild Pitch penalty is only counted once. The only exception to the Wild Pitch is when there are no runners on base when the pitch is thrown, in this case, it is called as a ball. It is also important to know that any pitch thrown that bounces on the ground before reaching home plate is automatically ruled a Wild Pitch.

In the event that a Wild Pitch is called after two strikes and the players on base advance but the hitter doesn't, the play is recorded as a Wild Pitch and a strikeout by the scorer's table. If a runner is attempting to steal a base before the Wild Pitch is thrown then the play is ruled a stolen base instead of a Wild Pitch. Lastly, a Wild Pitch penalty can be averted if the defending team is able to make an out before any of the runners on base are able to advance.


Wild Pitch Vs. Passed Ball

The difference between a Wild Pitch and a Passed Ball can be difficult to identify due to their similarity. Both penalties revolve around the delivery of the pitch to the catcher and the ability of the offense to steal bases. As mentioned previously, a Wild Pitch is a pitch that is out of the strike zone and the catching range of the catcher. Wild Pitches are charged to the pitcher whereas a Passed Ball is charged to the Catcher. A Passed Ball is charged when the Catcher is unable to catch a legal pitch in the strike zone and it results in runners advancing onto new bases. Similarly to a Wild Pitch, if a Passed Ball is called after the hitter's second strike then the official scorer records the play as a strikeout and a Passed Ball.


How Common is a Wild Pitch?

Wild Pitches used to be far more common than the average fan may guess. In fact, the MLB records it as a stat similar to a first or second base hit. The all-time career Wild Pitch leader is 343 pitches held by Tony Mullane who last played in 1896 and over 504 games in a 13-year career. The active career Wild Pitch holder is Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners with 154 Wild Pitches since 2005. However, the all-time season leader is Bill Stemmyer of the Boston Red Sox and the Cleveland Indians. He recorded a jaw-dropping 63 wild pitches in one season which subsequently led to his early departure from the MLB after just four seasons in 1888. Having a high number of Wild Pitches may get your name etched in the hall of fame, but not for the right reasons. An increasingly large number of Wild Pitches on a players record indicates a lack of control of the ball and low cohesiveness as a teammate.

As these stats tell us, the odds that a Wild Pitch occurs in a game today is far lower as the competition and skill level of players in the MLB has dramatically increased over the past 100 years. Yet, in non-professional play, a Wild Pitch being called is nothing new so athletes everywhere should know how it affects the game.