Bang-bang play doesn't go Blue Jays' way
Call on infield hit stands, allowing A's to walk off in 10
OAKLAND -- The old saying is that baseball is a game of inches and never was that more evident than on the final play of the Blue Jays' 4-3, 10-ininng loss to the A's on Wednesday night at the Coliseum.
Toronto's fate was decided by instant replay following a disputed call on the game's final play. Jose Reyes nearly saved the night with a diving stop of a ground ball by Ike Davis, but his throw to first was a split-second too late as Josh Reddick scored the winning run from third.
Before the game was made official, the call went to a review, but the video evidence was deemed inconclusive. That meant the original safe call on the field was allowed to stand as the A's celebrated a walk-off victory following a decision that a lot of players inside the Blue Jays' clubhouse disagreed with.
"It's tough, when you're playing, it happens so fast that you don't really have a good idea," said Danny Valencia, who was playing first base, "But when you come and look at it on the replay, everybody in this clubhouse feels like he was out. Unfortunately it didn't get overturned. It is what it is."
The bottom of the 10th started with a strikeout by right-hander Roberto Osuna. Reddick then doubled to left field and advanced to third on a grounder to second by former Blue Jay Brett Lawrie. That set up the decisive play that likely will remain a hot topic of conversation in the coming days.
Davis hit a sharp grounder to Reyes' right and for a second, it appeared as though Oakland would walk off the field with a non-controversial win. That changed when Reyes sprawled out to make the grab and came up with a strong throw that was on target to Valencia at first.
It was almost impossible to tell on the live look whether Davis was safe or out, but he got the benefit of the doubt from umpire Marvin Hudson at first base. Davis immediately began celebrating, but just as quickly, Toronto manager John Gibbons asked for a replay.
That put the game in limbo as officials in New York took a close look at all of the replays. The top of Davis' foot appeared to be hovering over the bag when the ball began to enter Valencia's glove, but it wasn't exactly clear whether the heel of his foot touched the bag before that. Even though Valencia disagreed with the decision, he admitted that if the original call had gone Toronto's way, the play was so close it likely wouldn't have been overturned.
"If he would have called him out and they would have replayed it, I feel like they would have said he was out," Valencia said.
"It was a good play and it was a bang-bang play. We've seen it all year, it has to be pretty much cut and dry, that it's the opposite, for them to overturn it. But if you look at it and you break it down, like we had in this clubhouse after this game, we all had it out here."
The officials in New York disagreed with that sentiment. It was decided that the replay official could not determine whether the ball reached the interior of Valencia's glove before Davis touched the bag.
"It was a banger, they went to replay, and it stood, so it doesn't matter at this point," a visibly frustrated Gibbons said.