MLB Confirms Umpires Allowed Illegal Pitching Change in Angels-Astros Game
In the seventh inning of the Los Angeles Angels' 6-5 road victory over the Houston Astros on Thursday evening, Angels manager Mike Scioscia came out to argue a potential botched call by the umpires with regard to a pitching rule.
UPDATE: Friday, March 10, at 5:20 p.m. ET by Sam Westmoreland
Porter says it was an honest mistake and Mike Scioscia was right.— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) May 10, 2013
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UPDATE: Friday, May 10, at 4:50 p.m. ET by Ian Hanford
According to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman, crew chief Fieldin Culbreth will be suspended two games for his error in last night's game:
Culbreth gets 2 gane suspension from mlb for error in last nights game— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) May 10, 2013
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As it turns out, Scioscia was correct. Major League Baseball confirmed that umpires working the game allowed the Astros' illegal pitching change, per Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal:
The development was broken down nicely by Zach Stoloff of NESN.com. It all began when the Astros southpaw Wesley Wright was brought out of the bullpen in the top of the inning to pitch to Angels outfielder J.B. Shuck, who bats left-handed.
Scioscia responded by inserting Luis Jimenez, a right-handed batter, as a pinch hitter. Before Wright threw an official pitch, right-handed reliever Hector Ambriz came on to replace him, which isn't allowed under rule 3.05 (b) in the official MLB rulebook.
The rule essentially states that a pitcher must throw to at least one hitter before leaving the bump, and that clearly didn’t happen in this instance. Even with three different huddles among the contingent of blues, they couldn’t reach the proper verdict.
What was the worst aspect of the botched pitching change call?
Rule 3.05 (c) states, though, that any play that occurs after the illegal pitching change is legal in and of itself. Down 5-3, the Angels protested, but they wound up coming from behind to win, thus negating the protest.
Making matters worse for the home team was that Houston manager Bo Porter thought that he did not make a wrong move, per Stoloff.
The controversy on the mound piled even more time onto the marathon nine-inning contest, which took a whopping four hours and seven minutes, according to CBS Sports. It was the longest regular-length contest of the 2013 MLB season thus far.
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