It’s not very often that a pivotal play requires not one but two replay reviews and changes the momentum of a game. But that’s exactly what happened during a confusing 15-minute double-review process that ultimately hurt the Angels in the second inning of a 15-1 loss to the Blue Jays on Saturday at TD Ballpark in Dunedin, Fla.
Instead of the Angels getting an out at first base -- and potentially two on an interference call -- the Blue Jays saw all of their baserunners ruled safe, allowing a run to score on what was ruled two errors and starting a snowball effect that eventually led to a seven-run frame for Toronto. Angels manager Joe Maddon was ejected the next inning and wasn’t pleased with the ruling, as he believed Jonathan Davis interfered on shortstop José Iglesias’ throw to first base.
"That's a play where I don't like to see an out called because of that, but I've had that play called against my teams in the past, and I thought this was more egregious,” Maddon said. “It was just the way he came in, kind of like at an angle and was further out and then came closer by the time he got to the bag."
With two on and nobody out, Angels lefty José Quintana induced a grounder from Danny Jansen to first baseman Albert Pujols, who threw to second base over the head of Davis. Iglesias was ruled to have touched second base for an out, but his throw to first was wild, with Davis sliding into him as he threw. It allowed Santiago Espinal to score from second base to give the Blue Jays a 1-0 lead.
But the play was first challenged by Toronto, and it was determined that Iglesias never touched second base before throwing to first, which meant that Davis was ruled safe at second. Furthermore, it was reviewed again after a challenge by the Angels to determine whether Davis interfered with Iglesias on his slide into second. But it was ruled that Davis didn’t cause any interference, and Jansen was also safe at first. Iglesias was charged with two errors on the play. Maddon also noted that a communication issue with the replay room added to the delay.
Iglesias, though, said he believed it was the correct call despite it going against the Angels.
“I was able to reach the bag, so I’d say [it was legal], but it did affect my throw,” Iglesias said. “It was a legal slide.”
Both calls went against the Angels, and the Blue Jays promptly capitalized with a seven-run frame against Quintana, who never seemed to recover from the lengthy review.
The game also featured a rain delay of two hours and 40 minutes before a first pitch at 9:45 p.m. ET, which was the Angels’ latest start time in the Eastern time zone since Aug. 23, 2000, at Boston (10:06 p.m. first pitch).
Quintana issued consecutive walks with the bases loaded and one out before giving up a three-run double to Randal Grichuk. Grichuk later scored on an RBI single from Espinal to knock Quintana from the game after 1 2/3 innings. Reliever Jaime Barria was brought in and got Davis to line out to right to end the inning, but he struggled on the night, allowing seven runs in two innings.
“The walks have killed me in my last two starts,” said Quintana, who has a 16.20 ERA and has walked seven in two starts this year. “I’ve been pitching behind in the count. I know there was a play at second base. and with that rule, I don’t know what happened. It was difficult for me to get out of the jam. But it was the walks. That’s it. I need to stay away from that.”
The Angels were also on the wrong side of another replay review in the third with Juan Lagares being ruled out on a close play at first base. The Angels challenged the call, but it was upheld, and Maddon was ejected for arguing with home-plate umpire Jerry Layne. It was Maddon's 60th ejection of his career and his third with the Angels. Bench coach Mike Gallego took over as manager after the ejection, and Maddon explained it was the length of the review that bothered him.
“It was quick,” Maddon said. “I thought it deserved extra scrutiny. I just don't like being expeditious just for its own sake. It just happened so quickly, and that's what I was upset about."