Instead, they appear to throw the runner on his way to first out first. It has to do with the number of outs, how hard the ball was hit, whether the runners were stealing at the time, where the ball was hit, and the game's score and inning.
If the batter hits the ball hard and it is not caught by the catcher, then the runner on first will start foraging for balls that are put into play after he crosses the plate. If no such ball is found after looking around first base, the runner is awarded a walk. A walk does not score any points, but it does allow the player to advance himself toward getting on base later in an attempt to get hit by a pitch or be forced out at second base if the pitcher throws the ball inside. A player who reaches first safely by walking or being awarded a walk can be thrown out at any time before the next player starts his/her turn at bat.
The term "to throw to first" means to send the ball in an effort to get a runner out at that spot on the field instead of catching him if the catcher does so. This happens most often in baseball when there are only one or two outs left in the inning because it is much easier to reach first base than it is to beat out a double play. Throwing to first also allows you to use up your pitching change.
The "strike 'em out, throw 'em out" double play occurs when a catcher throws out a base runner attempting to steal following a strikeout of the batter. If there is no one on base after a strikeout, the catcher will usually pitch the ball to first or third base. However, if the catcher elects not to pitch to first or third, then he must get the runner (or runners) at second base.
In addition to throwing out baserunners who attempt to steal, catchers can use other methods to help their teams win games. For example, they can apply pressure to the pitcher by standing up to him during warm-ups or shouting insults at him from behind the plate. Or, they can fight back against batters who are running away with the game by using such tactics as picking off runners at home plates or hitting while the bases are empty.
Finally, a catcher can affect the outcome of a game in many other ways. For example, he can hit with runners in scoring position, pick off base thieves at the plate, and even throw players out at the plate. All of these actions are opportunities for the catcher to score points and win games.
Since all of these activities can be used to help your team win or lose games, it is up to each catcher to decide what techniques he will use to influence the outcome of games.
Catchers typically throw the ball to third base after a strikeout. Throwing the ball about serves to keep the fielders on their toes by shaking things up. Throwing the ball to third helps the infielders' arms stay relaxed for throwing. Also, runners often try to beat out bad throws by racing home.
The rule was created as a safety measure. Before this rule, teams were ableing to rack up huge innings-scoring errors if they didn't take any further action. In 1914, an MLB player was killed when he ran into the stands after being thrown out at third base during a game. The next year, the rule was changed so that if a batter fails to touch home plate on a throw to the pitcher, then the catcher is required to return to the bag until he is tagged or reaches first base safely.
In modern baseball, if a catcher allows a runner to reach first base before throwing him out, then he can be charged with an error. This rule applies even if the catcher has time to throw but doesn't do so for some reason. For example, he may have been distracted by a pitch. Or, perhaps he lost control of the ball while fielding it and could not get it back in time. Either way, this rule ensures that no one is allowed to reach first base while the ball is still in play.