A player who plays particularly hard (especially with a willingness to sacrifice his body for the play) and is prone to making the right play at the right time, often in big games. Also used to refer to an excellent piece of equipment, such as a glove or mitt.
The space between outfielders. Also alley. A ball hit in the gap is sometimes called a flapper or a gapper. "He's swinging the bat right now better than he has all year, and I'm hoping now some of them turns into gappers", Leyland said.
A very well pitched game, almost always a win, in which the pitcher allows few if any hits and at most a run or two. Headline: "Mulder Shakes Off Injury to Pitch Gem".
get a good piece of it
When swinging a round bat at a round ball, the batter hopes to hit the ball solidly in the center. When he does, he's said to "get a good piece of the ball". "'When you hit in the middle of the order, those are the situations you want', said Cabrera, who leads the major leagues with 116 RBIs. 'He threw me a fastball, and I got a good piece of it.'"
Getaway Day (or Getaway Game) refers to the last game of a regular season series (usually on a Wednesday, Thursday, or Sunday afternoon) that sees the visiting team leave town ("get away") after its conclusion, either for the next stop on their road trip or for home. May also refer to the last day of a team's home stand. "MLB's new labor deal requires earlier start times on getaway days."
Getaway Day lineup
A starting lineup for Getaway Day that features backup players. Usually assembled by a manager so that his regular starers can enjoy a day's rest (especially if they had played the night before), though considerations such as the team's standing in the pennant race may preclude him from making such moves. "The San Francisco Giants completed a four-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies, even with a getaway day lineup taking the field."
To hit a ball hard. A batter who "gets good wood on the ball" or who "gets some lumber on the ball" hits it hard.
get off the schneid
To break a scoreless, hitless, or winless streak (i.e., a schneid). According to the Dickson Baseball Dictionary, the term "schneid" comes to baseball via gin rummy, and in turn comes from German / Yiddish "schneider", one who cuts cloth, i.e., a tailor.
A baseball glove or mitt is a large padded leather glove that players on the defensive team wear to assist them in catching and fielding. Different positions require different shapes and sizes of gloves. The term "mitt" is officially reserved to describe the catcher's mitt and the first-baseman's mitt. By rule, fielders other than the first-baseman and the catcher can wear only conventional gloves (with individual finger slots), not mitts. There is no rule requiring fielders to wear a glove or mitt, but the nature of the game makes it necessary. A fielder may have to catch a ball bare-handed, if he loses his glove in pursuit of a ball or finds himself at the wrong angle to use it.
Most batters nowadays wear leather batting gloves to improve their grip and provide a small amount of padding. Base-stealing artists, especially those who practice the head-first hands-first slide, wear specialized sliding gloves.
Players generally keep batting and sliding gloves in their pants pockets when not in use, and their fielding gloves in the dugout. At one time, players would leave their fielding gloves on the field; later they carried them in their pants pockets. This illustrates (1) how much larger and baggier uniforms were and (2) how much smaller the gloves were. The adage "two hands while you're learning" was a necessity in the early years, when gloves simply absorbed shock. The glove has since evolved into a much more effective "trap", and one-hand catches are now the norm.
Jokes used in movies and cartoons notwithstanding, the rules forbid throwing the glove to "catch", slow down, or even touch a batted ball. When the umpire calls it, the batter is awarded an automatic triple (meaning all runners ahead of him are allowed to score freely); it is also a live ball, and the batter-runner can try for home. Similarly, it is against the rules to use one's cap as a glove, as "All the Way Mae" (Madonna) did in A League of Their Own. Note that it is only against the rules to actually touch the ball with a thrown glove or other equipment; there is no penalty if the ball is not touched.
A player who is very skilled at defense is said to have a good glove.
The run which puts a team which was behind or tied into the lead. Used particularly with runners on base (e.g., "The Phillies have Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino on base down 4–2; Victorino represents the tying run and Chase Utley is the go-ahead run at the plate.").
A starting pitcher who pitches past the 6th inning is said to "go deep into the game". "Against the White Sox on Thursday, Morrow's command wasn't there. He walked six batters in 5+2⁄3 innings, and despite coming one out shy of recording a quality start, he didn't prove yet he's able to pitch deep into games."
go down in order
When the defending team allows no opponent on base in a half-inning, thereby retiring the side facing the minimum three batters, the batting team is said to have gone down in order, the defending team is said to have retired it in order.
When a team fails to mount a strong offense, such as going 1–2–3 in an inning, it may be said to have "gone quietly". "Outside of a walk to Mantle after Tresh's clout and a ninth-inning single by Pepitone, the Yankees went quietly the rest of the way."
A player who retires without a lot of fanfare or complaining may be said to "go quietly".
One who strikes out four times in one game is said to have gotten a "golden sombrero". Three strike outs is called the "hat trick", while the rare five strike outs is called the "platinum sombrero." Only eight times has a player struck out six times in a game; this is called the "horn" (named by Mike Flanagan after Sam Horn who did this in 1991), "double-platinum sombrero," or "titanium sombrero." If it ever happens, Flanagan said a seven-strikeout game shall be called "Horn-A-Plenty."
Swinging at an obviously low pitch, particularly one in the dirt. Also used to describe actual contact with a pitch low in the zone.
Conversely, a batter who has just been struck out, especially by a power pitcher, as in "He gone!"
An announcer may simply announce "one gone" or "two gone" to indicate how many outs have been made in the inning; likewise "one away" and "two away".
A hitter who has excellent awareness of the strike zone, and is able to lay off pitches that are barely out of the strike zone, is said to have a "good eye", "Ortiz and Ramirez are a constant threat, whether it's swinging the bats or taking pitches", Cleveland third baseman Casey Blake said. "They have a couple of the best swings in the game and a couple of the best eyes in the game..."
An accolade given to a batter who does not swing at a pitch that is close to, but not in, the strike zone; most often said to a batter with two strikes (who is naturally tempted).
Goodbye Mr. Spalding!
Exclamation by a broadcaster when a batter hits a home run. First uttered by an unknown broadcaster in the film The Natural. Spalding is a major manufacturer of baseballs.
A zero on the scoreboard.
A gopher ball (or gopher pitch) is a pitch that leads to a home run, one the batter will "go for". Illustration from an on-line chat: "He was always that guy who'd go in and throw the gopher pitch in the first inning and he'd be two down." A game in which several home runs are hit by both teams may also be described as "gopher ball".
got a piece of it
When a batter hits a foul ball or foul tip, perhaps surviving a two strike count and remaining at bat, a broadcaster may say "He got a piece of it."
Short for "got him out".
got to him early
When a team's batters gets several hits and runs off of the opposing starting pitcher in early innings the batters are said to "get to him early".
got under the ball
When a hitter swings slightly under the center of the pitched ball, thereby leading to a high fly ball out instead of a home run, he's said to "get under the ball".
Showing off for the fans in the grandstands. Also called grandstanding. Not only players, but managers, owners, and politicians often play to the crowd to raise their public image. An example: "Tellem weighed in with a thoughtful back-page article in this Sunday's New York Times regarding the recent Congressional and mainstream media grandstanding over steroids."
The Green Monster is a popular nickname for the 37.2 feet (11.3 m) high left field wall at Fenway Park, home to the Boston Red Sox baseball team. The wall is 310 feet (94.5 m) from home plate and is a popular target for right-handed hitters. The seats on top of the Monster, installed for the 2003 season, are among the most coveted seats at Fenway.
The Red Sox have spring training at JetBlue Park at Fenway South (informally, JetBlue Park) in Fort Myers, Florida. JetBlue is an exact copy of Fenway, including a full-sized Green Monster.
The Red Sox' mascot is "Wally, the Green Monster".
groove a pitch
When a pitcher throws a pitch down the middle of the plate ("the groove"). The result may be predictable. An example: "But in the third, with two out and a man at second and the Cards ahead 2–1, Verlander grooved a pitch that Pujols clobbered for a home run."
Under standard ground rules, there are conditions under which a batter is awarded second base automatically. If a ball hit in fair territory bounces over a wall or fence (or gets caught in the ivy at Wrigley Field) without being touched by a fielder, it will likely be declared a double. If a ball hit into fair territory is touched by a fan, the batter is awarded an extra base.
A type of curveball with a severe break. Boston Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka is said to throw a gyroball. It was designed by a couple of Japanese scientists to reduce arm fatigue in pitchers. The result was a way to throw the ball with an extreme break. Whether such a special pitch really exists remains the subject of great controversy among experts of various pedigrees.
^See Jeff Passan, "Searching for Baseball's Bigfoot", Yahoo Sports (March 13, 2006); Lucas Hanft, "In Search of the Magical Mystery Pitch", Boston Globe (August 27, 2006); and David Scheinin, "Thrown for a Loop:
Matsuzaka's Mystery Pitch, the Gyroball, Is an Enigma Wrapped in Horsehide", Washington Post (December 23, 2006).