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Arizona Diamondbacks extra-innings win a case for half-errors

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LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 05: Chris Herrmann
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 05: Chris Herrmann /
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The NFL has half-sacks for instances when players share a sack and baseball should follow suit when errors, as evidenced by the Arizona Diamondbacks extra-innings win, are split by two players

The Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-1 in 10 innings on Tuesday night due to an error in the Diamondbacks half of the inning.

The Play

Dodgers’ reliever Pedro Baez walked Chris Iannetta and A.J. Pollock to start the inning. Chris Herrmann came in as the pinch-runner for Iannetta.

J.D. Martinez laid down a ground ball to move the runners over.

Brandon Drury hit a fielder’s choice ball to Dodgers’ third baseman Justin Turner. With Herrmann heading home, Turner opted for the run at home.

In a quick look, Turner’s throw home didn’t seem far off or wild, but catcher Yasmani Grandal let the ball get by him and two runs scored. It cost the Dodgers the game.

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Further review makes it look like Grandal never even saw the ball coming and the error was charged to the catcher.

But, in post-game interviews, Herrmann revealed that the ball hit him in the shoulder on his way home. Official scorers changed the error and charged an E5 to Turner.

The Case

Bear with me, this is a single play in a single game which could or could not have an effect on the postseason for both of the teams in question.

But, immediately when they announced Grandal was charged with an error, I thought it was wrong.

Even after finding out the ball hit Herrmann, it was still a pretty spot on throw from Turner. It barely passed by Grandal on his right side.

In recap, Turner’s throw was pretty accurate. Grandal did not miss the ball, he just couldn’t see it past the runner.

You can’t charge the runner with the error. So, you give it to Grandal and later change it to Turner.

Neither player was wrong…and neither player was right…but someone has to take an E, then give it to both. Give each one half an error.

The Solution

The NFL does this with half-sacks, when more than one player is involved in a sack. It gives the secondary player in the sack the added boost in stats without hurting anyone else involved.

A half-error would almost be like an error-assist. If the shortstop shuffles a ball to the second baseman for an out, it’s an assist on the putout, not a putout for the shortstop. So, if the third baseman throws a wild ball to the catcher for an error, shouldn’t it be the same way?

Obviously it wouldn’t always be the case. If Turner had bobbled the ball, or dropped it altogether, then needed to recover it and was too late to make the play…E5. But, that wasn’t the case.

Think if a shortstop shuffles an off-target, but still recoverable throw to a first baseman for an out and it gets by the first baseman, both of them would get half an error.

In my humble opinion, it would be a more accurate way to score defensive blunders. And couldn’t baseball use MORE stats?

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