I’m not generally one to get wrapped up in statistical and/or technical debates. There are phenomena in sports that simply garner far more praise than they deserve: This one is an arbitrary accomplishment at best; after all, isn’t 4-4 with 3 triples and a homer more deserving of praise? This one is pretty impressive; but isn’t 30-9-8 still an amazing basketball line?
Splitting Hairs (and Hits)
Some accomplishments, though, merit celebration. Among them, no doubt, rests baseball’s “no-hitter”. Especially in today’s major leagues, the thought of a pitcher surviving 9 innings without surrendering a single hit is nearly impossible.
Thus, today’s Brewers-Pirates game has left me feeling extremely frustrated. The official scorer in the game made a horrendous call asserting that CC Sabathia’s barehand blunder did NOT amount to an error. Anyone who’s seen the video should agree that Sabathia’s hand touched the ball when the runner was no more than 50% to first base–which, as John Kruk points out, makes for a relatively routine putout, and hence should be scored as an error.
Again, Sabathia’s performance was dominating–period; it should be praised regardless of whether or not it was technically a no-hitter. However, by the same token, it would be much more special for the hurler, and his team, to be able to rally around such a milestone performance. Why not correct the mistake, and allow a playoff-contending to team to ride momentum into the stretch?
If baseball is to use replay in the future, it may as well employ such technology in settling debates such as this. Call the hit an error, and give CC his no-no. And, for what it’s worth, I think he should win the NL Cy Young–no questions asked.