Baseball Magazine

The Importance of the Shutdown Inning

By Meachrm @BaseballBTYard
There is nothing more demoralizing then scoring a few runs in an inning and then giving up the same amount or more when the opposing team bats in their next turn.  Your team is riding high with an emotional lift and then seems to hand that "lift" right over to the other team.  Keeping or getting the momentum on your side can be a powerful force.
Coaches worldwide stress to their players the power of the shutdown inning.  The shutdown inning is what happens immediately after your team scores a few runs.  Your defense goes out and shuts the other team down from scoring in their next turn at-bat.  The importance cannot be stressed enough.  

The importance of the shutdown inning

The three important shutdown innings are in RED.

When a team gives up a bunch of runs in an inning, usually they come in after the inning all pumped up and eager to get those runs back.  Shutting them down for that inning and hopefully multiple innings after that really takes the wind out of a team's sails.  You almost detect a feeling of "this just isn't our day" spread over the other team when they are continually shut down after the other team scores multiple times.  
This is why it becomes extremely important for the pitcher and the defense as a whole to be extra focused on throwing strikes and making the routine plays respectively in the following half inning.  Walks and errors are a great way to let the other team right back into the game and shift the momentum back to the other side.  If they are going to score runs, force them to score them by getting multiple hits instead of the maddening "4 runs on 1 hit and three errors" line for an inning.
Be good in the shutdown inning category and you'll win a lot of games.

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