In Game 1 of the American League Championship Series, the Texas Rangers emerged victorious over the Houston Astros with a final score of 2-0. However, the Rangers’ triumph was not without its share of late-inning drama. During the bottom of the eighth inning, with the Astros trailing by two runs, Jose Altuve initiated the frame with a patient walk.
What unfolded next was nothing short of extraordinary. Alex Bregman stepped up to the plate and launched a profound fly ball that soared towards the left field. Opposing the left-handed pitcher Aroldis Chapman. Evan Carter managed to secure Bregman’s remarkable hit right at the warning track, marking the first out of the inning. It was at this juncture that the situation took an unexpected turn.
It must be noted that Altuve exhibited a highly assertive approach towards Bregman’s hit. In fact, he advanced all the way to, and as the replay later revealed, one step beyond the second-base bag. According to the regulations, Altuve was obligated to retrace his steps to touch the second base on his way back to the first-base bag to be considered safe.
Regrettably for the Astros, the Rangers decided to appeal this matter, and a subsequent review of the replay confirmed that Altuve had failed to make contact with the second base on his return. Consequently, Altuve was declare out, resulting in an unusual double play in accordance with Rule 5.06(b)(1) as outlined in Major League Baseball’s Official Rulebook. This is the precise wording of the rule:
“After witnessing the ball’s trajectory. I did not anticipate that he would make the remarkable play that he did,” Altuve commented after the game. “My sole focus was to return to first base, and that’s exactly what I attempted to do.”
To be unequivocal, the decision was entirely correct. Nonetheless, it abruptly terminated what had seemed like a promising rally for the Astros. They transitioned from a situation where they were on the verge of tying the game, potentially due to a Bregman home run or, at the very least, an extra-base hit, to a scenario with two outs and an empty basepath, and only four outs remaining in the contest. Sometimes, such unexpected twists are the nature of the game.
As for Game 2 between the Rangers and the Astros. It is schedule to occur on Monday afternoon at Minute Maid Park in Houston. The first pitch is anticipate just after 4:30 p.m. ET, and it will feature Nathan Eovaldi taking on Framber Valdez.