Posada loses track of outs against Halos
Catcher started walking off field prematurely in sixth inning
ANAHEIM -- Four balls to a walk, three strikes and you're out, three outs to an inning.
Right, Jorge Posada?
It seems as if Posada forgot that last part in the sixth inning of a 10-1 thrashing of the Angels in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series on Tuesday. After Angels outfielder Torii Hunter walked to lead off the inning and Vladimir Guerrero singled him to second, Juan Rivera all but killed the rally by hitting into a 6-3 double play.
Posada, believing there were three outs in the inning, began jogging toward the visiting dugout. As Derek Jeter and CC Sabathia waved for Posada to return, Hunter took two quick steps toward home plate -- progress he was forced to halt when Alex Rodriguez dashed home to cover the plate and keep Hunter safely at bay.
At the time, the Yankees found little amusing about the play, considering they were leading the Angels by merely four runs. But afterward, Posada smirked when asked about the play.
"That happens," Posada said.
Rather than console Posada, Sabathia simply retired the next hitter to prevent the Angels from scoring. And Posada provided plenty of his own consolation, walking twice, doubling and scoring to aid a 13-hit Yankees attack.
Perhaps, also, Posada could find some sympathy across the clubhouse. Back on Sept. 13, thinking there were three outs, left fielder Johnny Damon tossed a ball into the stands at Yankee Stadium. Sabathia, who was also on the mound that day and who had recorded merely two outs in the inning, was charged with an earned run when Orioles infielder Justin Turner jogged home to score.
"It's one of those embarrassing things you hope never happens again," Damon said that afternoon, hardly envisioning a similar blunder would occur five weeks later on one of baseball's biggest stages. "It's happened a few too many times to me."
Blunders of this type aren't exactly new to Posada, either. In a game on Sept. 1, Posada twice lost track of at-bats at Camden Yards, standing at home plate after being issued ball four and later walking back to the dugout after looking at strike two.
The Yankees could laugh much more heartily at those mental errors, however, knowing that they could not affect the game.
"Derek is always the funny one," Posada said that day. "He said, 'The worst [thing] would have been if you hit a home run and walked down to third base instead of first base.' It's just one of those things." Then, Posada added a bit of foreshadowing.
"I don't think it'll be the last one that ever happens to me," he said.
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.