NEW YORK — The Seattle Mariners’ Casey Kotchman had his 274-game errorless streak come to an end in the eighth inning against the New York Yankees on Saturday, the longest streak by a first baseman in major league history.
Kotchman couldn’t handle a groundball on the glove side off the bat of Curtis Granderson, his first error since June 20, 2008, when he was a member of the Atlanta Braves.
“That was a tough one,” Kotchman said. “In between hops, hit hard.”
The mistake allowed New York to add a couple of extra runs. Jorge Posada came around to score on the error and Brett Gardner cruised into third, then came home moments later when Ramiro Pena hit into a fielder’s choice. The Yankees ended up winning 9-5.
Kotchman is prized for his defense at first base much more than his bat — he’s only hitting .223 with eight homers and 43 RBIs this season, although he did go 3 for 4 on Saturday. His string of errorless games began with the Atlanta Braves and continued during his time with the Boston Red Sox, and the Mariners acquired him in a trade this past offseason.
“He’s a pretty good first baseman, obviously. You can’t say anything about his defense,” Mariners interim manager Daren Brown said. “And I think he earned all of that streak. Like I said, he’s a pretty good first baseman.”
Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis had the major-league record of 238 games entering the season. He was passed by Kotchman earlier this year.
Kotchman said he didn’t dispute official scorer Jordan Sprechman’s decision to give him an error on the play that broke his streak. The hard groundball seemed to take a tough hop, but it’s a play that Kotchman acknowledged he should have made.
“It’s the scorer’s decision. You know, subjective a little but, but I didn’t analyze it,” he said. “You try to make plays, and you don’t not want to make plays. Again, I mean, I didn’t analyze this too much.”