Troy Caldwell was sitting in the first row of the stands in right field at Minute Maid Park when Jose Altuve hit a ball that looked like it could turn into a game-tying, two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning. But as the ball headed straight towards Caldwell in the stands, Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts soared in an attempt to make the catch.
Betts and Caldwell ended up making contact with one another in their mutual desire to catch the ball, and field umpire Joe West. The play went to review and that call was upheld due to insufficient evidence. Caldwell was apparently stunned.
"I don't understand even what happened," said Caldwell, per the Boston Globe. "I was over the line and the ball hit — I had my hands out, you can see it. 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. I never touched his glove. I don't understand why it wasn't a home run.
"That's about the worst call I've ever seen. That ball was gone, no matter what. My hand wasn't over the yellow."
Here's a look at the play:
A closer look:
Asked about his thoughts on West making the ruling that took away the two-run dinger that would have tied the game, Caldwell was pretty clear.
"I don't think it's appropriate for the papers," he said. "That ball was gone, no matter what. My hand wasn't over the yellow. My hand was right here and it hit my hand so it was a home run, no matter what."
In any case, the ruling wiped out a potential two-run dinger for Houston and the Red Sox were able to escape that first inning without allowing the Astros to get on the board. The loss of those two runs would ultimately prove to be extremely costly, as Boston went on toin an extremely tight back-and-forth affair, putting them up in the series three games to one. The Red Sox will have a chance to clinch the series Thursday in Houston.
"If Boston wins this series, then Joe West is the MVP," Caldwell said. "I'll give that to you right now."
So who wins every playoff game? And which teams are a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to get MLB Playoff picks from the proven model that simulates every game 10,000 times, and find out.