After a dreadful weekend against the Toronto Blue Jays, the Boston Red Sox got back on track with a walk-off grand slam against the Kansas City Royals, but it didn't come without controversy.
The Red Sox are clinging to some American League Wild Card hopes at five games back, and their win over the Royals was needed to keep pace.
Heading into the bottom of the ninth inning, the game was tied 2-2 after Royals pitcher Cole Ragans allowed just one earned run over nearly seven innings. The Red Sox started hot with a ground-rule double by third baseman Rafael Devers. Then, Triston Casas was intentionally walked. There were men on first and second but also two outs when newly-acquired second baseman Luis Urías stepped up to the plate.
With a full count, Urías appeared to strike out on a check swing, but was instead credited with a walk. Royals manager Matt Quatraro was not pleased, argued the call and was ejected.
Swing or not? pic.twitter.com/NUiQ4sQrDG
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 8, 2023
The clip above (courtesy of Pitching Ninja on Twitter) shows the swing. One could argue that he did go around, which would've been an extra-inning-inducing strikeout.
Instead, the bases were loaded for shortstop Pablo Reyes against Royals pitcher Carlos Hernández.
Here is the result.
IT'S PABLOVER! pic.twitter.com/poWwfQ0Lge
— Red Sox (@RedSox) August 8, 2023
Reyes hit a walk-off grand slam to win the game 6-2. The Royals dropped to 36-78; the Red Sox rose to 58-54.
Of course, if Urías had struck out, the game would've gone to extra innings, where the Red Sox still could've won. But after watching the clip, you can understand the frustration of Royals fans, players, and the coaching staff. It looks incredibly close, with us leaning toward a strikeout.
What did you think of the check swing? Strikeout or not?
The Royals' season is long gone, but the chance to play spoiler is something teams look forward to.
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