We’ve all seen batters swing at bad pitches. It’s part of baseball. But poor Josh Fuentes redefined the art of the bad strikeout Friday.
Fuentes, third baseman for the Double-A Hartford Yard Goats, faced a two-strike count in the eighth inning against Binghamton Rumble Ponies hurler Cory Burns. On the ensuing pitch, Burns appeared to mess up or halt his delivery, half-heartedly throwing the ball into the ground about five feet in front of him.
Figuring a timeout was called and the play was dead, Fuentes offered a similarly half-hearted swing as a joke. Alas, a timeout had not been called.
The umpire never blew the play dead, meaning that Fuentes had swung at strike three — a pitch that hit the grass about 50 feet away.
The catcher calmly retrieved Burns’ feeble throw and tagged Fuentes for the inning’s final out, completing what has to be one of the worst strikeouts in baseball history. (Seriously: Not even Vladimir Guerrero would swing at that pitch.)
The Rumble Ponies held on for a 5-4 win over the Yard Goats, while Fuentes made himself famous for all of the wrong reasons.