Baseball language n-z


nail down - As in "nail down a victory." Refers to a relief pitcher finishing off the game.

on the screws - When a batter hits the ball hard. Also "on the button."

painting the black - When a pitcher throws the ball over the edge of the plate.

pea - A ball traveling at high speed, either batted or thrown.

pepper - Pepper is a common pre-game exercise where one player bunts brisk grounders and line drives to a group of fielders who are standing about 20 feet away. The fielders try to throw it back as quickly as possible. The batter hits the return throw. (Some ballparks ban pepper games because wild pitches could land in the stands and injure spectators).

pick - A good defensive play by an infielder on a ground ball. Also a shortened version of "pick-off."

pickle - A rundown.

punchout - A strikeout.

rhubarb - A fight or scuffle.

ribbie - Another way of saying RBI. Also "ribeye."

rope - A hard line drive hit by a batter. Also "frozen rope."

rubber game - The deciding game of a series.

run-down - When a baserunner gets caught between bases by the fielders.

Ruthian - With great power.

seeing-eye single - A soft ground ball that finds its way between infielders for a base hit.

set-up man - A relief pitcher who usually enters the game in the 7th or 8th inning.

shoestring catch - A running catch made just above the fielder's shoetops.

southpaw - A left-handed pitcher.

sweet spot - The part of the bat just a few inches from the barrel.

table setter - Batter whose job is to get on base for other hitters to drive him in. Usually a leadoff or No. 2 hitter.

tape-measure blast - An extremely long home run.

tater - A home run.

Texas Leaguer - A bloop hit that drops between an infielder and outfielder.

tools of ignorance - Catcher's equipment.

touch 'em all - Hitting a home run (touching all the bases).

twin killing - A double play.

Uncle Charlie - Curve ball.

utility player - A player who fills in at many positions.

wheelhouse - A hitter's power zone. Usually a pitch waist-high and over the heart of the plate.

wheels - A ballplayer's legs.

whiff - Strikeout.

yakker - Curve ball.


Baseball language a-m