MLB playoffs 2021 – Inside the weird, wild and controversial 13th inning of Rays-Red Sox ALDS Game 3

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Game 3 of the American League Division Sequence involving the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox may possibly have had a person of the wildest endings in postseason background. The two groups had battled back again and forth for additional than 5 hours, with the Rays’ Wander Franco and Randy Arozarena top a comeback in the eighth inning to help send out the match into extras. Neither squad could get a lot going from the 10th to the 12th, but then all hell broke free in the 13th.

We requested our group of MLB professionals to weigh in on the type of ending lovers will be chatting about for yrs.

Dave Schoenfield — What the heck just happened?

In the top rated of the 13th inning of a activity that would past 5 hours, 14 minutes and aspect 16 pitchers and 389 pitches, Yandy Diaz was on very first base for the Rays with two outs and was working when Kevin Kiermaier lined a 3-2 slider from Nick Pivetta off the foundation of the reduced wall in front of the bullpens in appropriate-centre discipline. The ball bounced back again on to the warning track, off Hunter Renfroe’s leg and above the wall into the bullpens.

Make it make sense

— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) October 11, 2021

Diaz was currently a action from third foundation and would have scored quickly if the ball remained in participate in, but after an umpire critique, he was despatched back again to third base and Kiermaier to second. Pivetta then struck out Mike Zunino to finish the threat.

Note that rule 5.05(a)(8) in the rulebook and 5.06(b)(4)(h) in the umpires guide say, “Any truthful fly ball is deflected by the fielder into the stands, or around the fence into foul territory, in which situation the batter shall be entitled to next foundation but if deflected into the stands or in excess of the fence in honest territory, the batter shall be entitled to a residence run.”

That would be the popular Jose Canseco play — the fly ball bouncing off his head and about the fence for a property run. For Kiermaier’s strike, rule 5.05(a)(8) arrives into play, building it a floor-rule double.

In the base of the 13th, Luis Patino walked Renfroe, and then Christian Vazquez walked it off with a home operate about the Environmentally friendly Monster, the sixth stroll-off homer in postseason historical past in the 13th inning or later.

The Red Sox won 6-4, and they direct the sequence 2-1.

Jeff Passan — Why they got it right … but it nevertheless feels erroneous

All credit score thanks to the assessment crew that looked at the play, interpreted the procedures accurately and enforced them. The ball bounded off the wall, deflected off Renfroe and went around the fence and into the bullpen, advancing the runners two bases. Additional, as the MLB umpiring handbook notes, there is a big difference concerning, say, an outfielder fielding the ball cleanly and tossing it in excess of the fence deliberately and the ball caroming off a person out of engage in. If the fielder has “entire possession,” according to the handbook, “the award is two bases from the placement of the runners at the time the ball was kicked or deflected.” Renfroe did not have possession. Therefore, the rules say, “the award is two bases from the time of the pitch.”

For those inquiring: Properly, Yandy Diaz was midway involving 2nd and third when the ball strike out Hunter Renfroe, so why didn’t he get two bases and progress household? Right here is the rule from the MLB umpire guide. It has to do with possession — and it establishes when the two are awarded.

— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) Oct 11, 2021

In other phrases, you are unable to just grab the ball and chuck it into the stands without there currently being a penalty. No, you just have to completely misfield it and only then do you get rewarded!

— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) Oct 11, 2021

All that mentioned: This feels incorrect — and it would experience equally as incorrect have been the Rays the kinds benefiting from it. Renfroe misplayed the ball off the wall. Instead of grabbing it with his hand or glove, Renfroe misjudged the bounce and it ricocheted off his body. In other text, mainly because he did his job incorrectly … the Purple Sox ended up rewarded.

MLB’s rulebook is filled with responses to so a lot of what-if questions, but the sport is the recreation. It provides conditions of which not even the most artistic brain could conceive. And as significantly as it strives for fairness, there are bound to be holes. 1 of people appeared Sunday evening. It may well have adjusted the program of Match 3, mainly because the notion that every thing would have gone the identical way — the plan that Vazquez’ two-operate homer would have only won the game 6-5 — experienced the Rays scored that operate, rather than stay tied, is spurious. And in the conclude, it may be the detail that fees Tampa Bay a vacation to the AL Championship Series, with the Crimson Sox now in advance two online games to just one and angling to near out the sequence on Monday at Fenway Park.

Joon Lee — What they’re expressing at Fenway

The Rays obviously felt devastated around the final result of the participate in. Kiermaier seemed visibly distressed, calling the second a “heartbreaker.” Supervisor Kevin Income, for his section, did not appear intrigued in stirring any controversy in excess of the enjoy, frequently citing the rulebook in the course of his postgame information conference.

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Kevin Kiermaier suggests the floor-rule double contact that expense his team a operate is a “heartbreaker.”

“I consider it would be a quite easy connect with if any person stepped in and claimed it was stating the obvious that he was going to score,” Dollars explained. “Saying that, it truly is been a rule for a extensive time, and we are likely to engage in inside the regulations that are introduced to us this period.”

Kiermaier stated he expected for Diaz to rating but also deferred to the rulebook.

“The guidelines are in spot, and I can’t sit listed here and go versus those,” Kiermaier reported. “It is just unbelievable that it labored out to their benefit just like that.”

The moment particularly stung right after Vazquez’s choosing homer, which led to a jubilant celebration at Fenway Park featuring a helmet tossed in celebration traveling high into Boston’s brisk autumn sky, multiple Gatorade tub dunks and a self-confident Purple Sox workforce all set for an prospect to eradicate the initially-location finishers of the American League East.

“We are not lucky,” Vazquez stated.

And as Boston middle fielder Enrique Hernandez extra, “We performed a very good game. Play a excellent activity and perform the factors, we took care of home-discipline advantage, came our way. We did what we experienced to do to earn the match. Received huge hits, acquired large homers.”