If this turns out to cost the Astros the game and even the series, Houston may have their own Steve Bartman-esque scapegoat.
Jose Altuve was denied a potential two-run homer for the Houston Astros in Game 4 of the AL Championship Series when umpires ruled at least one fan interfered with Mookie Betts' attempt at a leaping catch above the right-field wall Wednesday night.
Alas, it seems like the Baseball Gods were not on the Astros side.
"[West] just said that it was fan interference on the field". Umpires reviewed the play and ruled Altuve out, taking the air out of Minute Maid Park early.
No matter which side of the fence you're on, that call may prove to be the biggest in this series. Had it been ruled a home run, the game would have been tied at 2-2.
Instead, it may be the final nail in the coffin for the Astros' back-to-back championship dreams.
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Replays appeared to show that Betts' left arm extended over the wall and into the sea of fans.
After three minutes and 13 seconds, the review resulted in the call standing.
The Red Sox are leading the Astros, 2-1, in tonight's game. Now Houston's chances to repeat as World Series champions are almost out of reach after an 8-6 loss on Wednesday night that put the Red Sox ahead 3-1 in the best-of-seven matchup.
One of the fans, Troy Caldwell, insisted he did nothing wrong. "But we assume - and you can assume a lot with Mookie because he's an incredible athlete - we assume he's going to make this spectacular catch jumping as high as he can into the crowd", Hinch said.
Was Mookie Betts going to catch this ball? So, it comes down to whether the fan reached over the yellow line on top of the outfield fence or not. However, if it's the fan who reaches over the fence and "plainly" prevents the player from catching the ball, then Major League Baseball rules say the batter should be called out for spectator interference.
Asked whether he agreed with the ruling and how he kept his head after the decision, Hinch said, "I can get ejected in the first inning, which is ridiculous in a playoff game, but there's no mechanism for me to change their mind, to change their interpretation, change the fact that I thought the ball was a row or two into the stands".