The White Sox, the Houston Astros and the umpires had a difference of opinion on a controversial non-interference call in the 11th inning of Tuesday’s game.
If the White Sox had their way, Evan Gattis wouldn’t have had the chance to send them to a 6-5 loss with a two-run home run off Matt Albers.
Instead, base runner George Springer would have been called out after batter Carlos Correa interfered with catcher Alex Avila’s two-out throw to second base after Correa struck out. But much to the chagrin of both Avila and White Sox manager Robin Ventura, plate ump Tony Randazzo determined that Correa didn’t interfere.
Three pitches later, Gattis homered. The White Sox lost their fifth game in six tries.
“I just thought Alex had altered the way he was throwing, he had to go over the top of him and it doesn’t matter if he swings or not, if it impedes his throw or makes him it alter, he should be out,” Ventura said. “That was my feeling on that.
“(Randazzo) didn’t feel he did it. Obviously a difference of opinion.”
Avila also believes he was interfered with on the play. But his understanding is that because he didn’t make contact with Correa, the batter was determined not to have interfered with the play.
“He was directly in front of me and I had to throw over him,” Avila said. “According to the rules there has to be some sort of contact. Problem is, if I throw normal there I smoke him in the head. Next time I’ll just throw it and hit him, but that’s not something I would wanna do. That’s unfortunate that’s how it is. Your reaction is to kind of get out of his way and make the play but next time if there’s a batter in front -- I’d feel bad.
“(Correa) was in front of me but (the umpire) said he ducked. He’s 6’4 and I’m 5’10 so there’s still a difference there. He was in front of me. I couldn’t step through it and tried to throw over him. Like I said, next time if that happens again, I’ll just throw it like I normally would.”
While the White Sox feel Springer should have been ruled out, in part because Correa struck out on the play, Astros manager A.J. Hinch said the runner only would have been forced to return to first base. Hinch also didn’t believe Correa interfered on the play.
“It's a judgement call by the umpire on whether it altered his throw,” Hinch said. “He got off a pretty strong throw. I'm sure I would've been out there arguing the other way, but it didn't look like it altered his throw. I don't there was contact made. I'd have to look at the video, but you've got a lot of activity with him swinging, you know, falling forward. He tried to get out of the way. Ump didn't feel he made contact with him. (Avila) made a strong throw. I'm certainly glad we had an extra at-bat there. I didn't think interference right away, but you never know.”