Recreation Three of the American League Division Collection between the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox might need had one of many wildest endings in postseason historical past. The 2 groups had battled forwards and backwards for greater than 5 hours, with the Rays’ Wander Franco and Randy Arozarena main a comeback within the eighth inning to assist ship the sport into extras. Neither squad might get a lot going from the 10th to the 12th, however then all hell broke unfastened within the 13th.
We requested our staff of MLB consultants to weigh in on the type of ending followers shall be speaking about for years.
Dave Schoenfield — What the heck simply occurred?
Within the high of the 13th inning of a sport that might final 5 hours, 14 minutes and have 16 pitchers and 389 pitches, Yandy Diaz was on first base for the Rays with two outs and was operating when Kevin Kiermaier lined a 3-2 slider from Nick Pivetta off the bottom of the low wall in entrance of the bullpens in right-center area. The ball bounced again onto the warning observe, off Hunter Renfroe‘s leg and over the wall into the bullpens.
Make it make sense pic.twitter.com/QyLp3UTpdL
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) October 11, 2021
Diaz was already a step from third base and would have scored simply if the ball remained in play, however after an umpire assessment, he was despatched again to 3rd base and Kiermaier to second. Pivetta then struck out Mike Zunino to finish the menace.
Word that rule 5.05(a)(8) within the rulebook and 5.06(b)(4)(h) within the umpires handbook say, “Any truthful fly ball is deflected by the fielder into the stands, or over the fence into foul territory, wherein case the batter shall be entitled to second base; but when deflected into the stands or over the fence in truthful territory, the batter shall be entitled to a house run.”
That may be the well-known Jose Canseco play — the fly ball bouncing off his head and over the fence for a house run. For Kiermaier’s hit, rule 5.05(a)(8) comes into play, making it a ground-rule double.
Within the backside of the 13th, Luis Patino walked Renfroe, after which Christian Vazquez walked it off with a house run over the Inexperienced Monster, the sixth walk-off homer in postseason historical past within the 13th inning or later.
The Pink Sox gained 6-4, they usually lead the collection 2-1.
Jeff Passan — Why they received it proper … however it nonetheless feels mistaken
All credit score as a result of assessment crew that appeared on the play, interpreted the foundations accurately and enforced them. The ball bounded off the wall, deflected off Renfroe and went over the fence and into the bullpen, advancing the runners two bases. Additional, because the MLB umpiring handbook notes, there’s a distinction between, say, an outfielder fielding the ball cleanly and tossing it over the fence deliberately and the ball caroming off an individual out of play. If the fielder has “full possession,” in response to the handbook, “the award is 2 bases from the place of the runners on the time the ball was kicked or deflected.” Renfroe didn’t have possession. Thus, the foundations say, “the award is 2 bases from the time of the pitch.”
For these asking: Effectively, Yandy Diaz was midway between second and third when the ball hit out Hunter Renfroe, so why did not he get two bases and advance house? Right here is the rule from the MLB umpire handbook. It has to do with possession — and it determines when the 2 are awarded. pic.twitter.com/FVXF20QN6Q
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) October 11, 2021
In different phrases, you’ll be able to’t simply seize the ball and chuck it into the stands with out there being a penalty. No, you simply should fully misfield it and solely then do you get rewarded!
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) October 11, 2021
All that stated: This feels mistaken — and it might really feel equally as mistaken have been the Rays those benefiting from it. Renfroe misplayed the ball off the wall. As an alternative of grabbing it together with his hand or glove, Renfroe misjudged the bounce and it ricocheted off his physique. In different phrases, as a result of he did his job incorrectly … the Pink Sox have been rewarded.
MLB’s rulebook is full of solutions to so many what-if questions, however the sport is the sport. It affords conditions of which not even essentially the most artistic thoughts might conceive. And as a lot because it strives for equity, there are sure to be holes. A kind of appeared Sunday night time. It might need modified the course of Recreation 3, as a result of the notion that every thing would have gone the identical manner — the concept that Vazquez’ two-run homer would have merely gained the sport 6-5 — had the Rays scored that run, quite than stay tied, is spurious. And ultimately, it could be the factor that prices Tampa Bay a visit to the AL Championship Collection, with the Pink Sox now forward two video games to at least one and angling to shut out the collection on Monday at Fenway Park.
Joon Lee — What they’re saying at Fenway
The Rays clearly felt devastated over the result of the play. Kiermaier appeared visibly distressed, calling the second a “heartbreaker.” Supervisor Kevin Money, for his half, didn’t appear concerned with stirring any controversy over the play, repeatedly citing the rulebook throughout his postgame information convention.
Kevin Kiermaier says the ground-rule double name that value his staff a run is a “heartbreaker.”
“I feel it might be a very simple name if someone stepped in and stated it was stating the apparent that he was going to attain,” Money stated. “Saying that, it has been a rule for a very long time, and we’ll play throughout the guidelines which are offered to us this season.”
Kiermaier stated he anticipated for Diaz to attain but in addition deferred to the rulebook.
“The principles are in place, and I am unable to sit right here and go in opposition to these,” Kiermaier stated. “It is simply unbelievable that it labored out to their benefit identical to that.”
The second significantly stung after Vazquez’s deciding homer, which led to a jubilant celebration at Fenway Park that includes a helmet tossed in celebration flying excessive into Boston’s brisk autumn sky, a number of Gatorade tub dunks and a assured Pink Sox staff prepared for a possibility to remove the first-place finishers of the American League East.
“We’re not fortunate,” Vazquez stated.
And as Boston middle fielder Enrique Hernandez added, “We performed a great sport. Play a great sport and play the weather, we took care of home-field benefit, got here our manner. We did what we needed to do to win the sport. Acquired huge hits, received huge homers.”