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O Hateful Error, Melancholy’s Child
2008-04-07 22:21
by Mike Carminati

Brad Lidge picked up his first save as a Phillie today, and Cole Hamels turned in another stellar outing. The only blight on the Phils day was a couple of unearned runs stemming from another couple of Phils errors. Lidge allowed an unearned run in the ninth when So Taguchi, a defensive replacement for Pat Burrell (who had two homers on the day), nonchalanted a two-out fly ball. Greg Gross he aint.

The Phils now have nine errors in seven games. Keep in mind that no team has had more errors than games played since 1993, when the inaugural Rockies accomplished the feat with 167 errors in 162 games.

But the Phils don't even lead the majors in errors. That honor falls to the Pirates who had two errors today en route to a 10-8 loss to the Cubs in twelve innings. The Cubs were far from perfect collecting three errors of their own. Even odder, Jon Lieber won his first game since June 9 of last year with the Phils. What's Freddy Garcia up to?

The glory of small sample sizes is that five teams are on track to record 162 or more errors this year:

Chicago Cubs78185

Now, before you chalk it up to cold April hands, keep in mind that even in the small collection of games so far this year, baseball continues its slow, inexorable, asymptotic approach toward perfection at least where errors are concerned. Fielding percentages are at .983 on average for MLB, exactly where they were last year.

So what does it mean? It means the same thing as So Taguchi's error, not a whole lot. Taguchi had three errors in 109 games in the outfield last year. He probably will end up with about the same number this year. Just as it is highly improbable that anyone, even the Pirates, will be able to keep up the error pace for an entire season.

Von Hayes was on track to hit 100 home runs early one April. That's the glory of small sample sizes.

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