Another strange umpire mistake happened on Monday night in Southern California and it resulted in Seattle Mariners’ Carlos Santana being walked after only three balls.
Santana was up to bat in the ninth inning at Angels Stadium on Monday night with the score tied up, 2-2.
After four pitches, the count was 2-2 — however umpire Laz Diaz held up his hands to signal that the count was actually 3-1. Angels pitcher Aaron Loup then threw another ball, which prompted Santana to trot down to first despite having only seen three balls.
The announcers calling the game questioned the count in the moment, but they were seemingly the only ones. The game carried on normally.
Earlier in the month we saw a hitter get four strikes.
Now presenting, a walk on three balls pic.twitter.com/WT2HQF8Dk8
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Diaz admitted after the game that he had made a mistake.
“I said, ‘No it’s 2-2,’” Diaz said, via the OCRegister. “Then I started thinking, maybe it is 3-1, because I forgot I called that first pitch a strike. There were so many pitches going on, I lost the count on that first pitch.
“I knew I called a strike on the steal, and that’s the only one I remembered. I couldn’t remember the one before that. … I messed that one up.”
The Mariners ended up scoring four runs in the ninth, which pushed them to the 6-2 win.
The mistake is extremely similar to one that happened during an Astros-Red Sox game earlier this month. Houston star Yordan Álvarez actually got four strikes during an at-bat before he grounded out — and nobody, not even the Astros broadcasters, noticed in the moment.