What is an Error in Baseball? Explained with Examples!

Baseball players are used to playing with certain habits whenever a baseball player from the defensive team goes solely against this particular habit, he is considered to attempt an error in the game. This is indicated by the official scorer of the baseball team and other than him nobody can decide whether it was an error or not.

It usually happens when by one move of the defensive player the player at-bat is benefited. However, the player at the at-bat is not given a hit or a run if they either advance the base or get a hit done instead the E is mentioned on the scoreboard.

Another way an error can occur is through botching. Errors are only charged to the players of the defensive team like pitchers, infielders, and catchers. They are not intentional, however; the error will occur whenever a baseball player unintentionally benefits the offensive team either way. Hence, they have to bear the consequences.

What is the Big Deal about Errors During a Baseball Game?

Errors can be a constant dilemma for a team if they repeat themselves. After all, a team can somehow get zero outs when they could easily get two outs. What is the big deal about errors during a baseball game? Different examples make errors in baseball a big deal. One of the most common examples is that a baserunner leads off the third base while being on first base.

Why Do Errors Occur in Baseball Games?

Baseball fans are confused asking that if mistakes occur in baseball why have they considered errors? When they are just mere mistakes then why MLB has set an official stat for this purpose? The answer lies in the fact that baseball has some “Normals” in it.

To understand this let’s take an example if a pitcher throws a slightly different pitch, then it can be considered an error by the official scorer. Another example of an error can be when an outfielder instantly releases a ball instead of catching the hit. This is why errors occur in baseball games.

What are Examples of Errors?

In baseball, there are no specific times when errors, however, very often these errors take place in baseball. So, what are examples of errors? The most repeated example of an error in baseball is when the fielder, catcher, or pitcher is not in the right position.

Secondly, it usually happens when a player blocks a ball thrown by a hitter. Errors are also considered when a player gets physically hurt in the game. Even now errors are categorized as follows.

Throwing Error:

Throwing Errors can occur at any time in the infield as well as in the outfield.

Throwing Error in Infield:

This happens because some infielders or outfielder rush to throw the ball to tag the baserunner and thus sometimes they fail in that regard. This kind of error in baseball is known to be a throwing Error in Infield.

Throwing Error in Outfield:

An outfield throwing error can occur when an outfielder tries to make an out from the offensive team but instead, he throws the ball out towards the catcher in rush.

Tagging Error:

This type of error occurs when a runner tries to advance a base and the catcher is present to tag the baserunner on home plate. In these kinds of errors not only errors are mentioned on the scoreboard but a run is also granted to the offensive team. This results against the defensive team. In this situation, the catcher tries to tag the baserunner before he reaches the Homeplate to score but he makes an error even though he was quite near to the home plate. This type of error is called tagging error.

Fielding Error:

Fielding Error as suggested by its name is the error that occurred due to the mistake of an infielder. Whenever an infielder tries and becomes unsuccessful in tagging the runner then this is called a fielding error in baseball.

When is it Not a Baseball Error?

Sometimes when a baseball player mistakenly performs an error during a play the baseball official scorer can deny or agree to it. The official scorer has to look after some external factors as well like the sunlight. So, when is it not a baseball error? When these external factors dive in baseball players are granted a move instead of an error.

For example, sometimes the player might not get enough time to react to the hit hence, it might end in an error but he can be saved. Other than that, a foul ball in the pop-up territory is also saved by the error.

Can a Pitcher Get an Error?

Errors are supposed to be held by the defensive team. So, can a pitcher get an error? Yes, the pitcher is also liable for errors in baseball. Let’s understand this through examples:

  • Let’s suppose a pitcher throws a pitch and when the hitter throws it back, he eventually tries to throw it toward the base but misses it. This will lead him to an error in baseball. 
  • If a baserunner advances the base, when the pitcher wanted to throw him out. He will get an error because instead of reaching the base the ball reaches the umpire.

Hence, through these examples, it’s quite obvious that baseball pitchers can also make errors.

What Baseball Starting Position Won’t Get an Error During a Game?

Are there any players who don’t get an error? It’s quite astonishing to know yes, some players don’t get to have errors in baseball because they are not in the field. So, what baseball starting position won’t get an error during a game? The designated hitters are the ones who don’t get to have errors during the play.

What Happens if a Player Gets a Hit + Error on the Same Play?

As explained earlier this can happen when a player can get an error and is hit at the same time. What happens if a player gets a hit + error on the same play? This can happen in a situation where the batter hits a single by safely hitting the ball into the outfield. This results in the baserunner advancing his base. Now the defensive team will get an error whereas the offensive team gets a hit.

Do Runs Count Against the Pitcher After an Error?

Some runs are not counted against the pitcher several times. So, do runs count against the pitcher after an error? It depends on the situation of the plays. In case, a fielder fails to throw the ball rightly and the baserunner reaches the base safely then this will not be counted against the pitcher. Secondly, if there is a home run and there are two outs already in the inning then this will also not be recorded against the pitcher.

What Baseball Positions Tend to Have the Most Errors?

Many baseball fans are known to what baseball positions tend to have the most errors because now they are used to it. The most common position is the shortstop. This is because in these shortstops the pitcher, outfielder, infielders, and catchers have to throw a relatively longer throw than in others. They are also considered the best defenders.

Is there a Stat that Measures Defense?

How well a player is defending in the diamond needs to be calculated. Is there a stat that measures defense? There is a stat known to be the fielding percentage that is used. It has the following formula.

Fielding Percentage Metric = 225 (PO) + 30 (Assists) / 9 (Errors) = .966% 

What is a Good Fielding Percentage in MLB?

In baseball there is an average fielding percentage for each player but what is a good fielding percentage in MLB? The best that a fielder can go is up to 1.00%. The fielders who achieve this percentage are the ones with zero errors during their whole career.

What Player Had the Most Errors in One Season?

Baseball fans inquire about the players who had the least as well as the high number of errors in the game. So, what player had the most errors in one season? Herman Long and Billy Shindle had the most errors in history.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a missed tag an error?

When it comes to tagging error, then it happens when the runner reaches the base and the catcher fails to tag him.

Is a dropped line drive an error?

This can lie between fielding errors if a batter hits the grounder or pop-up player and after all because of fumbling of the ball or throw.

Is an Error Considered a hit?

The error is committed by the defensive player hence there is no chance for the offensive team to get a hit or a run as a consequence of an error.

The Bottom Line on Error in Baseball

With the tremendous sport of baseball comes different errors during the game. These errors are not ignored by the official scorers however, these put a bad impact on the defensive teams.

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