Baseball oddity: Yankees Urshela awarded three-ball walk vs. Tigers

Detroit News

Detroit – In the end, it was just a quirk, a curiosity that had no impact on the outcome of the inning or the game, but it’s probably something we may not see again.

In the sixth inning of the Tigers 3-2, walk-off, 10-inning win over the Yankees Friday night, Gio Urshela took a three-ball walk. Yep, look it up. Reliever Kyle Funkhouser threw him nine pitches in the at-bat and only three were called balls.

And yet, home plate umpire Vic Carapazza didn’t say a word as Urshela trotted to first. Neither did Funkhouser, for that matter, or catcher Jake Rogers or the Tigers dugout. In fact, the umpiring crew didn’t know anything about it until crew chief Jerry Meals was approached by the Associated Press’s Noah Trister, who served as a pool reporter.

“It was a missed count. He went to first on three balls,” Meals admitted.

Meals said had they been questioned, they would’ve gone to replay and it would have been corrected.

“Didn’t know anything about it until after the game,” he said.

Apparently, one of Urshela’s five foul balls in the at-bat, a checked swing, was put on the board as a ball.

Here is the sequence of pitches:

First pitch – Ball one (94.7 mph sinker). 1-0

Second pitch – Foul (85.6 slider). 1-1

Third pitch – Called strike (94.7 sinker). 1-2

Fourth pitch – Foul (95.5 sinker). 1-2

Fifth pitch – Ball two (95.7 sinker). 2-2

Sixth pitch – Foul (95.5 sinker). 2-2

Seventh pitch – Foul (94.7 sinker). 2-2

Eighth pitch – Foul (97.2 four-seam). 2-2

Ninth pitch – Ball three (96.6 four seam). 3-2

Ursela trotted to first base and despite all the technology, all the analytics-takers charting every pitch, nobody raised a fuss.

How about that? Guess it wouldn’t be so amusing had Funkhouser not gotten out of the inning.


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