The, uh, wow, okay. The Cleveland Indians scored two runs off a clear foul tip that you probably would not miss unless your eyes were closed. Apparently, home plate umpire Jim Joyce's eyes were closed because this happened:
If it's not clear from the GIF, here is a breakdown of what happened:
- Lonnie Chisenhall tried to check his swing and a ball bounced off the dirt, hit his bat, and went foul. Easy strike call.
- Nope. Jim Joyce apparently didn't notice it hit Lonnie's bat and let the play continue.
- Instead of going to get the ball and "playing to the whistle," Houston Astros catcher Jason Castro decided to stand around and argue that the ball did, in fact, go off Lonnie's bat.
- Jim Joyce apparently agreed because he randomly stopped play, despite no one picking up the ball.
- As this is not a reviewable play, the two runs that scored while Castro was standing behind home plate still count.
- For some reason, even though there was nothing to cause the play to die once it was ruled a wild pitch, Jim Joyce put Jose Ramirez back at third base and removed a run.
So when that mess was done, the Indians were left with a 4-1 lead and a whole lot of potential bad karma coming their way. Understandably, no one on the Astros was happy. Manager AJ Hinch was ejected, despite being irrationally calm about his team getting absolutely damaged by a blown call. Even Rick Manning seemed like he was about to explode at the umpires for their easy missed call on the SportsTimeOhio broadcast. I imagine he'd be throwing chairs out the window if the same thing happened to the Indians.
Speaking of the Indians, their Twitter account also seemed to realize that the call was a little... weird.
Make it a four-run inning as Lindor, Napoli score on Lonnie's foul ball.— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) September 8, 2016
Astros respond w/Gurriel's solo shot. 4-2. pic.twitter.com/LMhqEN2rQA
It's a good thing this play was not reviewable, though. That might have caused a minor delay in the game and maybe hurt an umpire's feelings.