WATCH: Blue Jays play under protest after bizarre play in Game 5
The Rangers scored the go-ahead run in the seventh on a real odd play.
In the top of the seventh inning, the Rangers scored one of the most unlikely runs we'll ever see. With Shin-Soo Choo at the plate and Rougned Odor on third base, Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin went to throw the ball back to pitcher Aaron Sanchez.
Only Martin's throw accidentally hit Choo in the hand area on his bat, obviously causing it to end up far away from Sanchez. Odor scampered home.
Here it is:
Immediately after the throw hit Choo, home plate umpire Dale Scott threw his hands in the air. After Rangers manager Jeff Banister argued, Scott conferred with his entire umpiring crew and they ruled that the ball was live and Odor's run counts.
Per MLB rule 6.03a, so long as the batter hasn't intentionally interfered with the throw, this is a live ball.
Here's the pertinent part of the rule:
"If a batter is standing in the batter's box and he or his bat is struck by the catcher's throw back to the pitcher (or throw in attempting to retire a runner) and, in the umpire's judgement, there is no intent on the part of the batter to interfere with the throw, the ball is alive and in play."
So that the ball should be live unless the umpires rule that Choo intentionally got his hands on Martin's throw. Given that Choo was looking at the pitcher, this should have been an easy call.
Scott did botch this a bit by throwing up his hands, but no one can reasonably argue that the Blue Jays would have been able to get Odor at home without Scott's action.
To Scott's credit, he owned his mistake after the game. Here's what he had to say:
That was my mistake. I was mixing up two rules and I called time, but then it started clicking. I went wait a minute, wait a minute, there's no intent on the hitter. He's in the box, the bat's in the box. So to make sure I'm on the right page, I got everybody together and that's what we had. If there's no intent, if he's not out of the box, that throw's live. And after talking, that runner would have scored. Even if I had not called timeout, he was on his way, so we scored the run. John [Gibbons], of course, questioned that and was questioning what the rule is and where the bat was and where he was and all that stuff. Finally he said that he wanted to protest the game. Well, again I got together to make sure that we have the rule right. I went to a rules review on the headphones like we're supposed to do if we have a protest to double check when we take a protest and put it in the book, so to speak.
The Blue Jays are playing the game under protest, but the ruling was correct, so nothing will come of the protest.
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