Thursday, September 21, 2023

Yankees’ Gio Urshela draws three-ball walk vs. Tigers; umpire crew later admits they missed the call


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Friday night at Comerica Park, the Detroit Tigers walked off a win in their series opener with the New York Yankees (DET 3, NYY 2 in 10 innings). Robbie Grossman slugged a two-run walk-off home run against Justin Wilson to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 win.

There was some wackiness earlier in the game. In the sixth inning, Yankees third baseman Gio Urshela took first base on a “walk” despite taking only three balls. No one caught the error when it happened. Not home plate umpire Vic Carapazza, not the Tigers, not the broadcasters. If Urshela and the Yankees knew about it, they sure weren’t going to say anything.

Here’s the full at-bat. It seems the confusion stems from the fourth pitch, which apparently registered as a ball even though Urshela fouled it away with a little half-check swing (Carapazza did signal foul):

Ultimately, the three-ball walk did not come back to bite the Tigers. Righty Kyle Funkhouser stranded Urshela and Detroit went on to win the game, so even the potential butterfly effect went in their favor. No harm, no foul.

Following the game crew chief Jerry Meals told a pool reporter the umpire crew just missed the call, according to’s Evan Woodbery. It wasn’t until after the game that they realized Urshela walked on only three balls.

Every once in a while everyone on the field loses track of the count and something like this happens. In last year’s NLDS, Braves outfielder Adam Duvall was not awarded first base even though he took four balls from Marlins righty Pablo Lopez.


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