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Video: Two controversial plays happen on the same play, challenge ensues

Aug 15, 2014, 11:55 PM EDT

Gregorio Petit, Burke Badenhop Gregorio Petit, Burke Badenhop

An interesting situation arose in the top of the eighth inning in Friday night’s game at Fenway Park between the Astros and the Red Sox. The Astros were trailing 3-2 in the eighth but were threatening with runners on first and second with two outs and Matt Dominguez at the plate against reliever Burke Badenhop.

Dominguez hit a weak line drive to shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who fielded it on one hop and fed second baseman Dustin Pedroia an underhand toss. Dexter Fowler slid in about the same time the ball went into Pedroia’s glove, and second base umpire Pat Hoberg ruled Fowler safe. Pedroia then fired to catcher Christian Vazquez as pinch-runner Gregorio Petit was on his way home. Vazquez, for some reason, took the throw several steps in front of home plate before trying to run Petit down. Petit juked Vazquez and dashed home towards the back of the plate. Vazquez passed the ball to Badenhop covering home, and Petit juked him, too, reaching down and touching the plate with his right hand. Petit was ruled safe as well by home plate umpire Cory Blaser.

Red Sox manager John Farrell came out to challenge the call at second (which, if overturned, would invalidate the play at home plate as there would then be three outs), but after a lengthy review, the call at second was upheld and thus the call at home plate was as well.

The official scoring is a fielder’s choice with the run scoring on Vazquez’s error — no RBI for Dominguez.

The Astros eventually overcame the Red Sox, winning 5-3 in 10 innings. Marisnick knocked in a pair of runs with a double in the top of the 10th and Tony Sipp closed out the bottom half of the inning for the win.

  1. tearlw - Aug 16, 2014 at 12:45 AM

    Umm. Instead of two controversial plays, how about we just call it no controversial plays. Is there any question that Fowler beat Pedroia to second? No. And the play at home? The runner avoids the catcher, who took a terrible line towards the runner, and then the pitcher bobbles the ball while the runner scores.
    It’s an interesting play. It’s a fun play. But, I don’t think it’s a controversial play.

    • sfbookreviews - Aug 16, 2014 at 12:47 AM

      I agree. The only way this is controversial is if you don’t understand the rules of baseball. It’s entertaining, not controversial.

    • twinfan24 - Aug 16, 2014 at 12:35 PM

      Calling it controversial gets page clicks. Page clicks trump truth (and integrity?)

  2. randomjoeblow - Aug 16, 2014 at 12:48 AM

    What was controversial? The runner was safe at 2nd, and the runner was safe at home..

  3. Glenn - Aug 16, 2014 at 12:57 AM

    This Red Sox fan thinks that both calls were correct, but this/these call(s) in a meaningless game do reveal some potential issues in the future. What would ensue if either were overturned? Still waiting for a trap play double call issue to really stir up a controversy.

    • jinx21fan - Aug 16, 2014 at 2:07 AM

      There were two outs at the time. If either play call gets reversed on appeal, the run would not count as the third out would have been made.

  4. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Aug 16, 2014 at 1:22 AM

    Just what the heck was Vazquez thinking there? Absolutely horrid play. Good call by the umps even though you could possibly call Petit out at home for deviating so much from the base path.

    • blacksables - Aug 16, 2014 at 5:20 AM

      The catcher never tried to tag him. With out an attempt at a tag, he’s just avoiding a fielder in his way. If the catcher had tried to tag him, then he could have been (in my opinion) an out for going out of the baseball.

      Lousy defense by the Red Sox. Pedroia was slow getting to the bag, and the catcher should have waited for Petite to slide.

  5. raloe - Aug 16, 2014 at 3:48 AM

    Vazquez had to avoid stepping on the bat, which led to his indirect route. And the runner was all the way on the grass after establishing a clear baseline very close to the chalk line, this looks like he was out of the baseline to me. Otherwise, how far do you allow a runner to go to avoid a tag?

    • raloe - Aug 16, 2014 at 3:49 AM

      And the bat was left in play on the field, which it should not be.

      • raloe - Aug 16, 2014 at 3:51 AM

        As the commentator states at the 1:00 mark, “how many baselines did Petit take?”

      • blacksables - Aug 16, 2014 at 5:16 AM

        The bat was left by his teammate. Incidental to anything that is happening. It’s part of the field at that point.

      • blacksables - Aug 16, 2014 at 5:24 AM

        Sorry, looked at it again. The bat didn’t interfere with the fielder’s attempt to make a play. If it had, then it could have made a difference.

    • Mikhel - Aug 16, 2014 at 2:39 PM

      As long as his extended arms can reach the base he is in the path. Now how far can you allow a runner to go to avoid a tag? Per the rule, even more.

      • raloe - Aug 16, 2014 at 8:33 PM

        Yeah, that is at and around the base, but he was well outside of his own established baseline before he really approached the plate (after rerouting once he passed Vasquez). In other words, you can’t run outside the baseline midway between bases only to eventually return to “within arms length” when you get the base.

  6. titansbro - Aug 16, 2014 at 8:48 AM

    Maybe I don’t understand the rules of baseball but Vasquez couldn’t attempt a tag because the guy was 9-10 feet out of the base path simply to avoid him. That should be an out. But if there’s some obscure rule buried in the book that says the catcher must attempt a tag on a runner no matter how far out of the base path he is in order for it to be an out, then who am I to second guess the genius’s over at MLB who make up these rules? Ridiculous play. But yeah, the guy at 2nd was safe.

    • jinx21fan - Aug 16, 2014 at 9:02 AM

      We must not be looking at the same replay then, because Petite is definitely not 10′ outside in my opinion. Vasquez, for some odd reason, took 2 or 3 steps towards the mound before receiving the throw. Then when he took a step towards third he noticed the bat and it looks like he tried to go around it rather than risk stepping on it and falling I guess. By that time Petite is past him. It looks like he wanted to slide towards the back of the plate and then adjusted for the pitcher and went towards the front of the plate. The Red Sox must not have had too much issue with it, they challenged the play at second, not Petite.

      • blacksables - Aug 16, 2014 at 9:24 AM

        Just to add to that, the base path is established between the point the runner is at and home play ‘when a play’ is being made on him. If there is no play, it doesn’t matter.

        The catcher never made a play on the runner. The juke he made was past the catcher and on the pitcher.

        He did twist his body when he was near the catcher, but not enough to say he was out of the base path.

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