Hinch tossed after replay gives Tigers lead
Astros manager sought clarification, irked by ump's reply
HOUSTON -- After coming out to seek an explanation for why a run was allowed to score following a replay challenge, Astros manager A.J. Hinch said he was told the explanation didn't matter and was subsequently ejected from the fifth inning of Saturday's game -- a 4-2 loss to the Tigers in 11 innings.
With two outs and Anthony Gose on second in a scoreless game, Astros left fielder Preston Tucker slid to make a catch on Ian Kinsler's sinking liner. Kinsler was originally ruled out, but Detroit manager Brad Ausmus asked for a review while the teams left the field, and the call was overturned.
Home-plate umpire Bill Miller awarded Gose the plate to break the scoreless tie, bringing Hinch out of the dugout. Miller ejected him after a brief discussion, which elicited Hinch to follow first-base umpire Doug Eddings down the line to voice his displeasure. Hinch left to a standing ovation from the Minute Maid Park crowd.
"When you go out there civilly to ask them how the run scores -- I'm not arguing the play, Tucker dropped it. Everyone saw it. We saw the replay. Our guys had that -- it's pretty unacceptable to be told it doesn't matter," Hinch said. "That obviously creates a little bit of tension. He wins. He's the umpire. He threw me out."
Hinch disagreed with that assessment, citing his team's struggles with Tigers starter Justin Verlander, who tossed seven shutout innings of three-hit ball.
Coupled with Astros starter Collin McHugh's outing, where his only run allowed was the one Hinch was asking about, and the lone run loomed large.
"One run does matter," Hinch said. "It matters in April, it matters in August. You've got Verlander on the mound and he's very, very difficult tonight. Everything matters. You teach that to your guys, you believe that as a team. I'm going to defend our guys when he says something doesn't matter. That's what he told me."
Tucker, who hit a game-tying home run in the ninth inning to knot the score at one, hadn't seen a replay of the catch when he spoke to reporters postgame but said he thought the ball kept contact with his body throughout the play. "I slid and it ended up hitting some part of my glove and rolled up my arm a bit," Tucker said. "Whether it hit the ground or not, I couldn't tell. I felt like it was on my arm the whole time, so I just kind of tried to body it and trap it. I haven't seen the replay ... what happened, happened. I guess I'll figure it out once I see it."
Oddly enough, Hinch said he thought the officials in New York got the call right -- that Gose should have been allowed to score.
Hinch said his displeasure was centered around not receiving a concrete answer for why Gose was allowed to score.
"That's the kicker in all of this. I think they got it right," Hinch said. "I think Gose should score; I think Tucker dropped the ball. The end result would have been 1-0, but our team is deserving of an opportunity so we can learn from that ... I can tell the outfield to come up and just throw the ball, never give up on the play. There's so much we can take away from that play to get an explanation of how an umpire sees the end of the play. That's what I was after, and I never got it."
This was Hinch's second ejection of the season -- both have come after arguing replay calls.