Umpires convene to make correct ruling on tag play in ninth inning
ANAHEIM -- Just days after Major League Baseball announced its newest proposal for instant replay, a perfect scenario presented itself in the ninth inning of Saturday night's game between the Astros and Angels.
With the game tied at 5 and Angels reliever Ernesto Frieri on the mound, Astros right fielder L.J. Hoes lined a ball down the right-field line. Hoes tried to stretch it into a double but was thrown out by Collin Cowgill.
However, Hoes was initially ruled safe as second-base umpire Eric Cooper thought Erick Aybar missed the tag.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia came out to argue the call, leading to the umpires convening to discuss the situation.
After a brief conference, the call was reversed and Hoes was ruled out at second -- video replays showed Aybar tagged Hoes on the back of his jersey.
"From our angle it looked like Erick got a tag on him," Scioscia said. "You could see some movement there and Erick isn't going to argue if he didn't tag him, so from our angle we thought we had a tag, and the umpires got together and reversed the call, so you have to give them some credit. They got the call right."
Although the umpires eventually made the correct call, Astros manager Bo Porter -- who had yet to see the replay -- was still upset after the game as Houston would've had a runner on second and none out to lead off the ninth.
"I've never seen anything like where the umpire is in position to make a call, he makes a call and then agrees to get help on a call that he's in position to make," Porter said.
Hoes also shared his thoughts on the situation.
"I watched the replay," Hoes said. "At first, I didn't think he tagged me. But I watched the replay and it looked like he swiped my jersey. I was definitely surprised at the situation at the time, what was going on in the game. I was definitely surprise they overturned it."
An inning later, the Astros had lost the game, 6-5, on Josh Hamilton's walk-off home run.
William Boor is an associate reporter for MLB.com.