Jose Altuve was denied a potential two-run homer in the first inning for the Houston Astros in Game 4 of the AL Championship Series after fans reaching for the ball interfered with Mookie Betts' attempt to make a leaping catch. "That ball was gone no matter what", said Caldwell, a lifelong Astros fan.
The Astros called for a video review of the play, which upheld the interference ruling and resulted in Altuve being called out, preserving a 2-0 lead for the Red Sox.
While Joe West was indecisive in initially calling the play, he did rule Altuve out. The call stood after a replay review that lasted more than three minutes.
Twitter went nuts over the ruling.
Game 4 couldn't have gotten off to a much more disheartening start for the Astros. "Jose paid kind of the ultimate price for something out of his control".More news: Australia says trade deal with Indonesia on track
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West then was asked if it was a clear call.
According to MLB Rule 3.16, "When there is spectator interference with any thrown or batted ball, the ball shall be dead at the moment of interference and the umpire shall impose such penalties as in his opinion will nullify the act of interference". "I'm not sure if Mookie makes that catch, a great athlete, but how it's an assumed out is unbelievable". As he tried to make the catch, Betts' glove closed a split-second too early, possibly closed as it made contact on its backside with one of the fans' hands. "I would do the same", Altuve said after Astros lost the play-offs game 8-6.
"[West] just said there was fan interference on the field and my argument was the trajectory was there, the ball was leaving the yard", Hinch said in an in-game interview with TBS. I got like 800 pictures that already came to me - but I'm over the line and I put my hand out and the ball hit my hand. "There was a lot of action in that game". And, given the razor-thin margin of the game four loss for the Astros, it could wind up being the call that ends the Astros run at a second straight World Series.
The play came on the same day Major League Baseball cleared the Astros of any wrongdoing after a credentialed Houston employee was caught pointing his cellphone into the opposing dugouts during playoff games in Cleveland and Boston.
"I don't understand even what happened", said Caldwell, per the Boston Globe.