DENVER -- For a second Wednesday night, Rockies left fielder Gerardo Parra thought his eyes or his mind had deceived him. But he could laugh about it later.The Astros' Alex Bregman? Not so much.Bregman thought he had a triple off the top of the left-field wall to lead off the
DENVER -- For a second Wednesday night, Rockies left fielder Gerardo Parra thought his eyes or his mind had deceived him. But he could laugh about it later.
The Astros' Alex Bregman? Not so much.
Bregman thought he had a triple off the top of the left-field wall to lead off the sixth inning. Instead, the play was overturned because a fan -- wearing Astros orange at Coors Field -- had reached over the fence and tipped the ball, thus robbing Parra of a catch. After a replay review, the call was overturned on fan interference, and the Rockies had a key out in their 3-2 victory.
The Astros were leading, 2-1, at the time of the play.
"I never saw the fan, never saw the glove, because I was focused on the ball," Parra said. "I was surprised, because I put up my glove and the ball almost hit me in my face. I said, 'What happened? Did the ball move at the last second?' I never saw the fan.
"When I saw the replay, I felt better. I said, 'I'm all right. I'm not crazy.' I thought, 100 percent, I had it."
That's where Bregman disagreed.
"There is no possible way that a left fielder jumping backward into a wall is guaranteed to make the catch," a fuming Bregman said. "Changed the whole [expletive] game. We're up 2-1 at the time and I'm at third base. We need a fly ball to the outfield to get me in and it's 3-1."
Had the triple stood, it would have been the Astros' second hit of the game. They never got another against Jon Gray, who worked seven innings and was on the mound at the time of the overturned play, Adam Ottavino and Wade Davis.
Astros manager AJ Hinch was more diplomatic than Bregman.
"That play, it's happened a number of times, and it gives all benefit to the fielder," Hinch said. "Whether it's in foul territory or fair territory, I still don't understand when guys are colliding into walls or they're running all the way down the third-base line or first-base line we can assume catch.
"I understand it's impossible where you put them. Do you put them at first? Do you put them at second? Does Parra really catch that ball as he's backpedaling and colliding with the wall? The rule states that if he's in a position he's possible to make a catch, they're going to call him out, and they did. I think most home fans, in a situation like that, are going to start to interfere, because what's the downside?"
Well, that was the oddity. The fan, who was asked to leave in accordance with a Coors Field rule that says any spectator who interferes with a ball in play can be removed, was wearing a Justin Verlander Astros jersey.
In fact, for the heavily attended two-game set, there were many fans donning the road team's colors and supporting the Astros. Although Rockies center fielder Charlie Blackmon good-naturedly tried to explain it as loyalty to the local football team, which happens to wear the Astros' colors.
"There were a few more Broncos fans in the crowd tonight," Blackmon quipped.
Rockies manager Bud Black credited Brian Jones, the Rockies' video coordinator, for the successful challenge. Jones, in his 17th year with the organization and 12th as the Major League video coordinator, called bench coach Mike Redmond, who relayed to Black, who issued the replay challenge.
"All 30 guys who do replay are on point all the time.," Black said. "Their role in all this is three hours of every pitch and every play. For us, that's 380 feet away. It's dark. I'm 61 years old. My eyesight is not there. How am I going to see it?"
Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter and like his Facebook page.
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.