Batting cleanup

Batting cleanup is an American idiom. We will examine the meaning of the idiom batting cleanup, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

Batting cleanup means to finish a job that others have started. The implication is that someone who is batting cleanup is the most competent. In some cases, batting cleanup is part of the process. In other cases, the person batting cleanup is saving the situation. Batting cleanup is an American idiom that is taken from the sport of baseball. In baseball, the fourth person in the batting lineup is batting cleanup. He is the most powerful hitter and is expected to hit a home run that will drive in everyone on base. The expectation is that each of the first three batters landed on base during their turn at bat. The phrase batting cleanup came into use around 1910 to describe the process in baseball, then came into widespread use as an idiom about 50 years later. Related phrases are bat cleanup, bats cleanup. Note that cleanup is a closed compound word in this instance.

Examples

Over the past few weeks, even as China has seen fewer and fewer cases of the coronavirus, its State media, particularly Xinhua, has been batting cleanup for the Xi Jinping regime and verbally assailing the United States. (Firstpost)

As for meltdowns, I thought it would be either Miss Fame, Violet or Pearl, after they entered the workroom at the start of the episode full of dramatic sighs, followed by an all-smiles Jaidynn Diore Fierce, the dream team of Katya, Ginger and Kennedy imitating Charlie’s Angels and Max batting cleanup. (The Guardian)

Despite the national concern over automation and globalization, the end result is that globalized products often end up routed back to Mechanicsburg, where Heckman and his trainees find themselves batting cleanup for the global supply chain. (The Carlisle Sentinel)

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