The Houston Astros are not happy with MLB.
Sunday’s matchup of the AL division leaders at Fenway Park was a tight back-and-forth, with the score ultimately tied at five after the Astros came through with a four-run sixth inning.
Fast forward to the top of the seventh inning. The game is still tied at five, and the Astros have José Altuve on third and Yuli Gurriel at bat.
Gurriel grounds the pitch out to shortstop Xander Bogaerts and Altuve breaks for home. Bogaerts fires the ball back to home plate, but his throw is too high for catcher Sandy León to grab without a bit of a reach. León reaches, grabs, leans and swipes his left arm downwards, tagging Altuve out at the plate.
Or does he?
— Adam Wexler (@KPRC2AdamW) September 10, 2018
The official call on the field was that Altuve was out. Astros manager A.J. Hinch challenged the play, and after replay officials took nearly four minutes to review it, the call on the field was upheld.
“He did get in there, it’s clear as day,” Hinch said, per Fox 26’s Mark Berman. “I’m tired of these questions, because replay is set up for precisely that type of play and we feel like we have clear evidence: there’s a gap between the tag, his hand’s on the plate, but continually it gets harder and harder and harder to get a call overturned if they can just simply say it stands.”
The Astros manager was not alone in his frustration. Astros outfielder Josh Reddick tweeted a freeze frame of the call in question, making his disapproval of the call clear.
— Josh Reddick (@RealJoshReddick) September 10, 2018
“It would be nice for MLB to come out with an explanation with that call,” pitcher Dallas Keuchel said. “And if they don’t it looks a little suspicious.”
With Altuve out, the game remained tied at five until the Sox won it with a walkoff RBI from Mitch Moreland in the ninth, cutting the Astros’ lead of the AL West to two and a half games.
Altuve, despite having not seen the replay himself, stands by his manager.
“A.J. never complains about stupid things,” he said in a postgame interview. “When he complains, it’s because he knows he’s right.”
Two Houston teams came to Boston this weekend. Two games ended in Boston’s favor. Between the Altuve tag and the Rob Gronkowski catch, the two Houston teams left feeling like unfair calls had robbed them of a chance at winning.
— Ahmed Aldihbashi 🇳🇴 (@MrAHMED92) September 10, 2018