Ump Show: Houston Astros lose after questionable balk call on Ryne Stanek allows the Dodgers to score go-ahead run in the eighth inning
Down two runs in the eighth inning, the Los Angeles Dodgers got some help much needed help on a questionable balk call by Houston Astros pitcher Ryne Stanek that allowed the go-ahead run to score.
Astros’ reliever Bryan Abreu walked Freddie Freeman, Will Smith, and J.D. Martinez to load the bases in the eighth inning. Jason Heyward hit a sac fly that scored Freeman to tie the game and Smith scored on Outman’s ground-rule double after the ball got stuck in the right field wall.
James Outman then scored the go-ahead run on a balk called by Ryne Stanek as the Dodgers rallied to beat the Astros 8-7.
Stanek got out of the inning after striking out Michael Busch and made his displeasure with the balk call known by yelling at second base umpire Junior Valentine, who then tossed him from the game. Dusty Baker left the dugout to argue and was also ejected.
Here’s what Ryne Stanek had to say after the game:
“He said I moved my leg, which was pretty obvious because I stepped off the mound,” Stanek said. “Beyond that, I wholeheartedly disagree. A balk is intentionally trying to deceive a runner. At what point was I trying to deceive a runner? I hadn’t even come set yet. I literally was just stepping backwards.”
We’re talking a tie ball game in the bottom of the eighth inning with a 3-2 count. There’s absolutely no way an umpire can make this balk call unless it’s a “sure thing” which it definitely was not.
The call was ruled a balk because the home plate umpire said that Stanek moved his leg, which was pretty obvious to everyone as he stepped off the mound.
You literally cannot make that call in a tie ball game late in the game. You know it’s bad when I’m writing an article in support of anything to do the Houston Astros but when there’s an Ump Show happening, it’s all hands on deck to call out whatever ridiculous call was made, no matter the teams in question.
Every single baseball game needs to end on the team’s terms. Having an umpire deciding anything of that importance can’t be allowed. It’s bullshit and takes all of the fun and excitement out of the game itself.