Counting is hard: 10 times Major League players forgot how many outs there are in an inning
Major Leaguers sometimes lose track of outs
On this day in 2009, then-Cubs outfielder Milton Bradley caught a fly ball off the bat of Twins catcher Joe Mauer, paused to pose for some pictures with the Wrigley Field faithful and then threw the ball into the stands for a free souvenir.
Unfortunately for Bradley, that was only the second out of the inning and the Twins already had runners on first and third. The runner on third was able to score, increasing the Minnesota lead to 6-3.
You can watch the video up top -- but this fan's reaction is all you really need to see:
We point this out today not because of how ridiculous it might seem (although it certainly is), but because this happens bizarrely often amongst Major Leaguers.
Yes, even the stars.
Working our way back to present day from Bradley's brain-neutral moment, here's Yankees catcher Jorge Posada doing the same thing in Game 4 of the 2009 ALCS against the Angels:
And here's Albert Pujols jogging off the field one out too soon back in 2011 with the Cardinals:
Even Ichiro has had to do the ol' double-take. Look at this mental error from a game back in 2012 -- you can actually see the exact moment he realizes there's still one out left:
Just last season, in a game against the Astros, Pujols' now-teammate Josh Hamilton lost track of the game situation:
As did Joey Votto against the Cardinals:
And Bryce Harper against the Phillies:
Then this year, Yasiel Puig didn't realize the inning was actually over and attempted to record a fourth out:
But no, this isn't just a modern phenomenon. Here's Expos outfielder Larry Walker giving a fan the ball, with only two outs recorded:
And it's not even contained to individuals. One time, the entire Rockies defense lost track of the number of outs:
So -- five years ago today, Bradley didn't do anything that far out of the ordinary, even if it was tremendously silly. But it did give us this excellent GIF of bemused Sweet Lou Pinella: