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### Baseball Wins

```
Date: 9/10/96 at 17:4:41
From: Anonymous
Subject: How Many Baseball Team Wins

A baseball team won 4 more games than it lost. The team played
18 games.  How many games did it win?

let the number of games won  = x+4
let the number of games lost = x

x+4=18
x=22

This is the answer I get and as you can see it is wrong.
```

```
Date: 9/11/96 at 0:16:55
From: Doctor Mike
Subject: Re: How Many Baseball Team Wins

Dear Sorena,

You got started right by letting x be the number of games lost, but
18 is the total number of games they played, including the games they
won and also the ones they lost, so the equation is "number of games
won plus number of games lost equals 18."

In symbols that is (x+4) + x = 18.  You can take it from here.

I want to warn you not to repeat a mistake in what you wrote. The
equation x+4 = 18 is not the right equation, but there is something
else wrong. If you start with that equation and solve for x you should
not get x = 22. Here's why. Always think of doing the same thing to
both sides of the equation.  In this case you need to subtract 4 from
each side, which leaves you with just x on the left side, and 18-4=14
on the right side. Be sure to watch out for this as you solve for x
with the new equation.

I hope this helps.

-Doctor Mike,  The Math Forum
Check out our web site!  http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
```
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