Published: Thu, October 18, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

This Astros Fan Is Now Big Part of Playoffs, Accidentally

This Astros Fan Is Now Big Part of Playoffs, Accidentally

In the bottom of the first inning, Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve launched a fly ball to right field that narrowly evaded Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts' glove as he leaped above the fence. "However, should a spectator reach out on the playing field side of such fence, railing or rope, and plainly prevent the fielder from catching the ball, then the batsman should be called out for the spectator's interference".

But crew chief Joe West, working the right-field line at Minute Maid Park, signaled fan interference after Betts was unable to make a jumping grab and the ball ricocheted back onto the field.

"He just said that there was fan interference on the field, and my argument was more about the fact that the ball was leaving the yard, the trajectory was there", said Astros manager A.J. Hinch during his in-game interview with TBS.

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Much like with the NRL bunker, MLB's video replay system requires there be enough compelling evidence to overturn an on-field call. After a challenge from the Astros, the call was upheld.

Twitter went nuts over the ruling.

The contentious moment occurred in Game 4 of MLB's American League Championship Series on Wednesday (local time). "Jose paid kind of the ultimate price for something out of his control".

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And when asked if it was a clear call in his mind, the umpire said flatly, "Yes". Boston leads 2-1 in the best-of-seven series. 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. He jumped up to try to make a catch. "I would do the same", Altuve said after Astros lost the play-offs game 8-6. "That is why I called spectator interference". 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's a lot of action in that game".

Halfway through the game, the fan in question told the Houston Chronicle: "I'm going to need security to escort me out of here if the Astros don't come back to win this". "That's not how the game plays". Hinch went out to discuss the situation with West, who had a brief consultation with the rest of the six-man umpire crew before the play was reviewed. "I'm not in NY (in the replay center), and I'm not an umpire".

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The Red Sox say Sale is still weak from the stomach illness that landed him at Massachusetts General Hospital earlier in the week. They got a runner on with two outs and Rafael Devers got a hit to put runners on first and second.


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