Yankees catcher Chris Stewart is a lifetime .214 hitter, so he certainly needs all the help he can get at the plate. He didn’t help himself Thursday night, though.
Stewart was part of baseball’s weirdest play of the night Thursday during the Yankees’ eventual win over the Baltimore Orioles.
The journeyman catcher had an interesting second-inning at-bat. Orioles pitcher Wei-Yin Chen delivered the first pitch fo the at-bat, a ball just outside. The next pitch was fouled off. Then, with the count 1-1, Chen got Stewart to swing and miss on a changeup for strike two. Stewart then inexplicably walked away.
No one, including home plate umpire Jim Wolf, either noticed or said anything.
“[Wolf] said something the first pitch, and I thought he called it a strike,” Stewart said, according to MLB.com. “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.”
Stewart and the Yankees eventually laughed it off in the dugout, and getting the ninth-inning win in the midst of a playoff push made the “strikeout” something to joke about after the game.
“The good thing is,” Stewart — owner of eight big league home runs in seven seasons — said, “we ended up winning and it doesn’t mean anything. But I would’ve hit a home run if I’d stayed there.”
See the weird at-bat here.
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