The Milwaukee Brewers defeated the Houston Astros 6–4 on Friday night after the game ended with a controversial slide ruling.
Outfielder Colby Rasmus walked with one out in the top of the ninth inning. Two pitches later Jose Altuve grounded into a double play as Rasmus was called out for sliding into the fielder at second base while Altuve was out at first. The slide was considered illegal due to interference.
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Rule 6.01, which was implemented after Chase Utley injured a Mets infielder in the playoffs, says that a runner cannot interfere with a fielder at second base.
The previous rule stated: “If, in the judgment of the umpire, a base runner willfully and deliberately interferes with a batted ball or a fielder in the act of fielding a batted ball with the obvious intent to break up a double play, the ball is dead. The umpire shall call the runner out for interference and also call out the batter-runner because of the action of his teammate.”
The umpires reviewed the call after a challenge by Houston but upheld their initial ruling.
Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel expressed his displeasure with the ending almost immediately after the game on Twitter.
Houston manager A.J. Hinch called it “a joke” that the Astros lost the game based on the rule, saying there “wasn’t intent or contact.”
“It was interpreted right, but the rule needs clarification because I think it's wrong," Hinch said. “Especially when you’re asking athletes to compete at the highest level as fast as they can in last-minute decisions.”
Rasmus said there was no malicious intent with his slide but acknowledged players would need to start “learning how to deal with [the new rule].”
On Tuesday night, the Blue Jays lost to the Rays when a two-run error by Tampa second baseman Logan Forsythe in the top of the ninth inning was wiped out by an interference call that cost Toronto the game.