Troy Caldwell was sitting in the first row of the stands in right field at Minute Maid Park when Jose Altuve hit a ball that looked like it could turn into a game-tying, two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning.
The Astros tied the game at 3 in the third, when Springer went deep on the first pitch of the inning before Altuve doubled high off the left-field wall and Josh Reddick plated him with a single.
"That ball was gone no matter what", said Caldwell, a lifelong Astros fan from Houston who now lives in Atlanta. But there was obstruction, and a lot of it.
Altuve's potential homer was wiped away when umpire Joe West ruled that fans reaching for the ball interfered with Boston right fielder Mookie Betts attempting to make a leaping catch. But as Mookie Betts leaped into the seats to try to make the catch, Caldwell reached for the ball, too, seemingly forcing Betts' glove closed in the process. After a challenge from the Astros, the call was upheld. "Jose paid the ultimate price for something out of his control".
Asked about his thoughts on West making the ruling that took away the two-run dinger that would have tied the game, Caldwell was pretty clear. Boston leads 2-1 in the best-of-seven series.
"I was just kind of going back, and I got a good jump on it", Betts said. Hinch went out to discuss the situation with West, who had a brief consultation with the rest of the six-man umpire crew before the play was reviewed.
Bartman shot to infamy when he reached for and deflected a foul ball that Cubs outfielder Moises Alou appeared ready to catch in a pivotal postseason game. "I'm not sure if Mookie makes that catch, a great athlete, but how it's an assumed out is unbelievable". "I would do the same", Altuve said after Astros lost the play-offs game 8-6.
'I didn't reach over the wall, ' he told The Washington Post.
"I know the rules, and I didn't reach over the line".
According to MLB Rule 3.16, "When there is spectator interference with any thrown or batted ball, the ball shall be dead at the moment of interference and the umpire shall impose such penalties as in his opinion will nullify the act of interference".
The play came on the same day Major League Baseball cleared the Astros of any wrongdoing after a credentialed Houston employee was caught pointing his cellphone into the opposing dugouts during playoff games in Cleveland and Boston.