09/02/09 1:23 AM ET
Posada has trouble counting vs. O's
Catcher forgets count twice, but hits pair of home runs
By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com
Posada twice lost track of at-bats as he batted in the Yankees' 9-6 victory over the Orioles at Camden Yards, standing at home plate after being issued ball four and later walking back to the dugout after looking at strike two.
But the 38-year-old backstop made the most of his fifth-inning faux pas, digging back in with "new life." After fouling off a full-count David Hernandez fastball, Posada connected for a two-run homer to left-center field that gave New York a 5-3 lead.
That made him a prime target for ribbing from close buddy Derek Jeter, who compared his absent-minded approach to former teammate Bernie Williams.
"Derek is always the funny one," Posada said. "He said the worse [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. I don't think it'll be the last one that ever happens to me."
In the second inning, Posada had looked at an outside 90-mph fastball from Hernandez, working a walk on a full-count pitch. Except Posada didn't leave the batter's box, leaving YES Network commentator Ken Singleton to wonder, "Was that ball four?"
Home-plate umpire Angel Hernandez confirmed that it was and sent Posada on his way as TV cameras caught Johnny Damon grinning. But the real winner was in the fifth when Posada looked at a 91-mph heater on the outside corner and started the slow walk back to the dugout.
Posada had hardly left the home-plate area when the Yankees gently reminded him he had another strike to work with, as Alex Rodriguez flashed two fingers between sips of a cool beverage and Jeter cracked up.
"To tell you the truth, I thought it was strike three, walking out," Posada said. "I got another crack at it. I was a little embarrassed."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.