Re: Baseball Rules/Stats Question
In baseball, a batted ball is considered a sacrifice fly if the following four criteria are met:
* There are fewer than two outs when the ball is hit.
* The ball is hit to the outfield.
* The batter is out because an outfielder or an infielder running in the outfield catches the ball (or would have been out if not for an error).
* A runner who is already on base scores on the play.
As addressed within Rule 10.09(e) of the Official Baseball Rules, a sacrifice fly is not counted as a turn at bat for the batter, though the batter is credited with a run batted in.
The purpose of not counting a sacrifice fly as an at bat is to avoid penalizing hitters for a successful tactical maneuver. The sacrifice fly is one of two instances in baseball where a batter is not charged with a time at bat after putting a ball in play; the other is the sacrifice hit. However, a sacrifice fly still reduces a player's on base percentage, and a player on a hitting streak will have the hit streak end if he has no official at-bats but he has a sacrifice fly.
The sacrifice fly is credited even if another runner is put out on appeal for failing to tag up, so long as a run scores prior to the third out. In the case of a fly ball dropped for an error, the sacrifice fly is only credited if the official scorer believes the run would have scored had the ball been caught.