If you've ever watched baseball -- okay, even if you haven't -- you're likely aware that it takes three strikes for a player to strike out. On Thursday night, though, Yankees catcher Chris Stewart decided two strikes was enough, and headed back to the bench after swinging and missing on a 1-1 pitch from Orioles starter Wei-Yin Chen.
Apparently, Stewart thought he heard the ump call strike one after the first pitch, which was in fact a ball. So, when Stewart missed on the third offering, he headed back to the Yankees bench, assuming he was out. The Orioles' battery was obviously not going to say anything -- Wei-Yin Chen even mentioned after the game that, back in Japan, when an opponent didn't walk after a fourth ball, Chen just kept on pitching to him. It is a little weird that the umpire didn't speak up, though. Stewart said as much, stating it would have been a "nice little courtesy" for a heads up.
Maybe the ump felt this would be a lesson to Stewart to actually pay attention next time. He didn't give out any quotes explaining his inaction, so we'll just have to assume tough love is to blame.