For the second time in a week, the first-place Indians have benefited from an egregiously missed call by the umpires.
During Thursday afternoon’s win over the Astros (CLE 10, HOU 7), the Indians scored two runs on a foul ball. Officially it was rules a wild pitch because the umpires missed the ball hitting Lonnie Chisenhall‘s bat. Houston catcher Jason Castro never bothered to chase after the ball because he thought it was fouled off.
Here’s video of the play, which very clearly shows the ball hitting Chisenhall’s bat and changing directions. It’s a foul ball, not a wild pitch. No doubt about it.
Home plate umpire Jim Joyce missed the foul ball and let play continue. Astros manager A.J. Hinch came out to argue, the umpires got together to talk it out, and they still ruled it a wild pitch rather than a foul ball.
The Indians essentially acknowledged the missed call on Twitter:
Foul balls are not reviewable for some reason. I can understand check swings not being reviewable, because those are judgment calls. A foul ball is pretty black and white. It either hit the bat or it didn’t. Seems like it should be reviewable, but it’s not.
So the wild pitch call stood, Hinch was ejected, and the two runs were allowed to score. The play turned a 2-1 Indians lead into a 4-1 Indians lead. Given the final score (10-7), that play and those two runs are a pretty big deal. The Astros are in the wild-card race and that blown call hurts.
Last week umpires said Jason Kipnis checked his swing when he clearly did not, canceling out a strike ’em out, throw ’em out double play. Kipnis would later draw a walk and the Indians would score a run in the inning.
Despite all the negative attention, major-league umpires are very good at their jobs. They’re the best in the world. They make mistakes like everyone else and replay has help fixed many of them. Thursday’s missed call was among the worst you’ll see though. Geez, that was bad.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / WATCH: Indians score two runs when umpires mistakenly call foul ball a wild pitch