It’s not quite Javier Báez stealing a run for the Cubs by going backward, but Yankees third baseman Gio Urshela also did something you probably haven’t seen before on Friday night in Detroit.
We all know it’s one, two, three strikes you’re out at the old ball game … but one, two, three balls, you walk? In this case, yes.
Urshela was batting against Tigers reliever Kyle Funkhouser in the sixth inning, took ball one, and things seemed to be proceeding normally. A foul ball, a called strike, a check-swing foul… the whole thing is on video.
After the game, crew chief Jerry Meals admitted that it was a mistake, and that neither he, home plate Vic Carapazza, nor anyone else, knew about the screwup until after the game.
While it’s always an ejectable offense to argue balls-and-strikes calls, the ball-strike count is subject to video review. Only, the Tigers didn’t raise the issue. Not Funkhouser, not catcher Jake Rogers, and not manager A.J. Hinch. They all just went right along with it, and it wound up not mattering all that much as the Yankees didn’t score in the inning and the Tigers won the game, 3-2, in 10 innings.
But while Meals admitted the odd human error, Major League Baseball’s website, possibly trying to reconcile the weird plate appearance with what its robot brain knows as reality, engaged in a bit of gaslighting.
That check-swing foul on the fourth pitch to Urshela? Apparently that was ball two.
What’s more, the website does register the location of the pitch, and seems to do so correctly.
Things evened out Urshela’s next time up, as it sure looked like he had an infield hit, but was called out after a strong throw by Jeimer Candelario.
Maybe two wrongs do make a right sometimes?
It just doesn’t reflect that the ball hit Urshela’s bat, and was foul, leaving the count at 1-2 rather than moving it to 2-2.