If you weren't paying any attention to Thursday's Angels-Tigers game, no need to worry.
Neither were the managers, players or coaches.
In a moment that only the drag of a 162-game season could produce, Angels' rookie Sean Rodriguez (pictured right) struck out when he should have actually been on first base with a walk.
That's right. Absolutely no one involved with the game realized that the count before the strikeout was 4 balls and 2 strikes and that Rodriguez should not have even been facing the pitch in the first place.
(If anyone with the Tigers noticed the mistake, they weren't saying. Kind of like when a blackjack dealer pays you when you actually lost or pushed, right?)
Neither plate umpire Tim Welke nor Angels manager Mike Scioscia noticed the mistake. At 2-2, Rodriguez said Welke asked Tigers catcher Brandon Inge what the count was.
"He said he thought it was 1-2, and I said I thought it was 1-2 also," Rodriguez said. "He thanked me for my honesty."
Welke had the scoreboard reset to 1-2, and instead of drawing a walk, Rodriguez struck out.
Welke apologized to Rodriguez during his next at-bat.
"I told him don't worry about it," Rodriguez said. "It was more my fault than his. I struck out on a 4-2 pitch. How many guys do that?"
Since the Angels won the game 7-1 anyway and are on their way to wrapping up the AL West title in the next week, the instinct is to just laugh this away and file it under the news of the weird.
But considering that Boston's Coco Crisp walked on just three balls a few weeks ago, you'd like to hope that all the kinks get worked out by both the umpires and players before the postseason arrives. The last thing baseball needs is something like this deciding an important game.