In a game that extended into the bottom of the 10th inning, it somehow seemed appropriate that troubled Josh Hamilton would walk off as the hero.
Hamilton’s bomb to right field to win the game 6-5 for the Los Angeles Angels was his 18th of the year, which for many would be a good return. But these aren’t nearly enough dingers for the club’s DH, who was brought in to do just that.
This was a matchup of struggling bullpens. The Houston Astros have been getting decent starts lately from their main names, but so much turnaround in the ‘pen has left them with no defined closer, as manager Bo Porter is still trying out different recipes.
The Angels came into the game having lost nine of their last 12 games; the Astros won three of their last four, including the previous night. The lead changed hands throughout the game, but as it came down to the end of proceedings, the Angels’ closer Ernesto Frieri had just too much fire for the Astros batters to deal with.
The contentious point of the game came in the ninth inning when Astros speedy right-fielder LJ Hoes tried to turn a single into a double, and the throw coming in to second base easily had him beat. Hoes was able to sneak a slide just around the second baseman and was called safe by the second-base umpire.
After seeing it again on screen, we could see that he was in fact tagged out, and the umpires had meanwhile convened at home plate to talk matters over. If this wasn’t rare enough, they actually overturned the call without any video help, to the fury of Porter and bemusement of commentators. Another hot talking point in the debate of instant replay usage in MLB.