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BASEBALL The Rundown: Hit or error? That’s the question

  • The Kansas City Star
  • Published Saturday, May 10, 2014, at 10:39 p.m.
  • Updated Sunday, May 11, 2014, at 1:21 a.m.

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Statistically speaking

• On Monday, Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez struck out looking for the first time since May 21, 2013. He went 597 plate appearances between called strike threes.

• Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt recorded his seventh career game with at least one homer and one stolen base on May 4, tying the Royals’ Eric Hosmer for most among major-league first basemen since 2011.

• Milwaukee third baseman Aramis Ramirez was in a four-for-50 skid in which his average dropped from .352 to .240.

• In 21 starts with the Dodgers, Josh Beckett has a 3.70 ERA in 121 2/3 innings. But he is winless in his last 14 starts.

You need to know

• The Pirates will play host to the Cardinals in ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball, a stretch of nearly 18 years (6,497 days) between hosting gigs for Pittsburgh. That’s not the longest drought, of course. The Royals last played host to a Sunday Night Baseball game on June 16, 1996, a stretch that is 43 days longer than Pittsburgh’s. In the meantime, the Yankees have made 69 appearances, 28 at home. The Cardinals are next with 64 appearances (24 at home) followed by the Red Sox (62 times and hosted 31).

• After the Royals won Tuesday at Petco Park, the only current major-league stadium in which they haven’t posted a victory is Marlins Park in Miami, where they have not yet played.

• Since the start of interleague play, the Phillies are just 128-163 against AL teams.

• The Rangers have made 15 disabled-list moves, most in the majors. The Reds are second with 11.

• The Mariners beat the Royals 1-0 on Thursday despite having just two hits. ESPN’s Jason Stark noted that it was the second year in a row that Seattle won a game with only two hits, the first to do it in back-to-back years since 2010-11 Dodgers.

Words of wisdom

“I’m in shock right now. It doesn’t bother me, but it’s shocking to me. It’s not going to happen again.”

| Seattle pitcher Felix Hernandez on failing to strike out any White Sox players in his 6 1/3-inning start on Wednesday.

Shortly after the ball hit the grass Friday night at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, the questions began.

Texas starter Yu Darvish had a perfect game with two outs in the seventh inning when Boston’s David Ortiz lifted a fly ball into short right field. Out went rookie second baseman Rougned Odor. In came right fielder Alex Rios. Each had a chance to catch the ball. Neither did.

Attention turned immediately to scorekeeper Steve Weller. Hit or error?

The Dallas Morning News reported that Weller has been scoring games for 20 years in Arlington, and he ruled it an error on Rios. Weller cited rule 10.12 (a) (1) that allows scorers to charge an outfielder with an error if the outfielder, “making ordinary effort” would have caught the fly ball.

“That’s the key thing is I want to get the play right,” Weller told the Morning News. “I know what it looks like, I know it looks like, ‘There’s the hometown official scorer taking care of the hometown pitcher, giving him a no-hitter.’ But that’s not how I felt. If that play had happened in the first inning, I’d have called it the same way. It’s just that’s the way I saw the play, and that’s what I truly believe. That was the right call to make.”

While the game continued in Arlington (and Darvish eventually lost the no-hitter with two outs in the ninth), the conversation raged.

“Generally, pop-ups that fall untouched — which should be errors — are usually called hits,” tweeted ESPN’s Buster Olney. “Not this time. Needs to be consistent, either way.”

Deadspin produced video of the Orioles’ David Lough getting a hit on a pop-up that fell between the Royals’ James Shields and Mike Moustakas.

Yahoo Sports baseball columnist Jeff Passan tweeted: “Anyone who believes that’s an error doesn’t watch baseball. It should be a team error ... but since those don’t exist, it’s called a hit.”

Two other Passan tweets:

“Everyone citing Rule 10.12: Of course it *should* apply. When balls drop between fielders and whom to charge it is in question, it doesn’t.

“There is a difference between should and is. It should be called an error because it’s a screw-up. It isn’t because team errors don’t exist.”

Others also lamented the lack of a team error in baseball. Perhaps it will become an official statistic one day. Major League Baseball has shown it can change, having expanded replay this season and updated the rules on home-plate collisions.

Naturally, others have a different idea.

Royals blogger and Grantland writer Rany Jazayerli tweeted: “Either get rid of errors completely or get rid of official scorers completely.”

To reach Pete Grathoff, call 816-234-4330 or send email to pgrathoff@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/pgathoff

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