It’s okay. Everybody loses track of the count at some point, right? Even the home plate umpire? Wait, the home plate umpire is the guy that’s supposed to keep the count straight for everyone else in the ballpark.
After every called time-out at the plate, he holds up his hands, indicating the count, balls on his right hand, strikes on his left so that the pitcher and TV crew can get their faculties in order. If the scoreboard is wrong, he calls time himself and signals up to the media box what the count is. So what happens when the home plate umpire loses track of the count? It happened in last night’s game as the Washington Nationals hosted the Texas Rangers.
Adam Kilgore transcribed the conversation between Nationals hitter Wilson Ramos, Rangers catcher Chris Gimenez, and home plate umpire Scott Barry. It was the sixth inning. Colby Lewis was on the mound and the Nationals were up 4-2.
Home plate umpire Scott Barry, according to Ramos, declared the count 3-2. Rangers catcher Chris Gimenez turned and asked, “Isn’t it 2-2?”
“Yeah, Barry replied. “2-2.”
“It’s not 3-2?” Ramos asked Barry.
“No, it’s 2-2,” Barry said.
Ramos shrugged and went back to the at-bat.
The entire sequence had everyone confused, from Ramos to the Nationals’ dugout to the Rangers radio announcers. Eric Nadel of KESN playfully told listeners that the MLB At-Bat app had crashed as a result of the mis-count (which is funnier in retrospect because the app did experience major problems later in the evening).
Wilson drew a walk on two full counts, but the game wasn’t decided on that play, although Ramos did score on a Tyler Moore double later in the frame. The Nationals would go on to win 9-2.