For example, one experienced base stealer noted that careless pitchers dig the toes on their back foot into the ground when they are about to pitch in order to get a better push off, but when they intend to turn and throw a pickoff, they do not.If a batted ball is caught on the fly, the runner must return to his original base.Past this moment, any delay in the runner's break makes it more likely that the catcher, after receiving the pitch, will be able to throw the runner out at the destination base.
The runner tries to steal and the batter swings at almost any pitch, if only to distract the catcher.
If the batter makes contact, the runner has a greater chance of reaching the next base; if the batter gets a base hit, the runner may be able to take an extra base.
If the batter fails to hit the ball, the hit-and-run becomes a pure steal attempt.
In the delayed steal, the runner does not take advantage of the pitcher's duty to complete a pitch, but relies on surprise and takes advantage of any complacency by the fielders.
The runner gives the impression he is not trying to steal, and does not break for the next base until the ball crosses the plate.
It is rare for Major League defenses to be fooled, but the play is used effectively at the college level.
In this case, a runner trying to steal is more likely to be caught off his original base, resulting in a doubleplay. It is offset by the fact that a ground ball doubleplay is less likely.
In the hit-and-run play, coaches coordinate the actions of runner and batter.
The antithesis of this is reliance on power hitting, exemplified by the Baltimore Orioles of the 1970s, which aspired to score most of its runs via home runs.
Often the "small ball" model is associated with the National League, while power hitting is associated with the American League.
Baseball's Rule 8 (The Pitcher) specifies the pitching procedure in detail.