The Tigers finally showed signs of offensive life on Tuesday in their win over the A's in Game 4 of the ALDS. Two innings after Jhonny Peralta hit a game-tying three-run home run, Victor Martinez swatted a game-tying solo shot in the seventh. That one came with some controversy, however. Here's the blast:
Replays showed a fan (two fans, really) reached over the railing in right field and interfered with the ball. It not only looked like the ball might not have cleared the wall, but it looked like Josh Reddick may have even been able to catch it. Here's a still photo of the ball in flight:
Umpires reviewing this Victor Martinez home run. Fan interference, maybe? pic.twitter.com/sN3e0yVKCO— BuzzFeed Sports (@BuzzFeedSports) October 8, 2013
Click the photo for an even larger view.
As for the fans in question, CBS Detroit has the details:
A local chef and a long-time season ticket holder, John Bendzinski, 49, of Macomb almost changed the course of Game 4 for the Tigers.
“It was coming to me and I didn't know if it had enough – I didn't really want to reach over,” he told WWJ's Russ McNamara. “Next thing you know, I'm switching hands with my beer and it hits me right in the hands.”
Bendzinski didn't catch the ball but he did hold on to his beer.
Bendzinski's friend Mark Beauchamp was right next to the action: “The ball was coming out and we had to like ‘go for it' we were above the yellow,” he said.”That's all we knew.”
In any event, the only thing the replays showed conclusively was that the ball was interfered with. That's it. Without enough evidence to overturn it, the homer stood and the game was tied at four. A few batters later, the Tigers took a 5-4 lead on an Austin Jackson single.