New York Yankees’ catcher Chris Stewart struck himself out on two strikes Thursday night against the Baltimore Orioles. Yes, you read that correctly.
Stewart came up to bat in the top of the second to face Orioles starter Wei-Yin Chen. He took the first pitch for a ball, fouled off the second pitch, then swung and missed at the third pitch. With the count at 1-2, Stewart walked back to the bench, thinking he had struck out.
Surprisingly, no one told Stewart to go back to the plate and finish his at bat, not even home plate umpire Jim Wolf. After realizing his mistake on the bench, all Stewart could do was laugh at himself. The Yankees already had a 2-0 lead, so it’s not like he was hurting the team.
The Yankees went on to beat the Orioles 6-5, but the game won’t be remembered for the score.
Christ Stewart was asked about striking himself out later:
“[Wolf] said something the first pitch, and I thought he called it a strike. I assumed it was 0-1, I fouled a ball off and I swung and missed at a ball. No one said anything; the umpire didn’t say anything, so I just came on back to the dugout and put my stuff away.”
He also wondered why Wolf wouldn’t call him back to the plate as a “courtesy.” Wolf was not reached for comments.
At the end of the day, there was nothing Chris Stewart could have done. By walking to the bench, he ruled himself out.
Orioles pitcher Chen told reporters after the game that he was “shocked” but would “take it.” Too bad for Chen that Baltimore couldn’t come back to win, despite a late rally.
With the Yankees win, they stay a game back in the wild card hunt. They sit one game behind Tampa Bay and two behind the slumping Texas Rangers.
The Chris Stewart striking himself out incident should serve as nice lighthearted moment in an otherwise tense stretch of games.
[image via Wikimedia Commons]