Umpire Joe West, positioned in right field for this game, immediately ruled fan interference.
There is a difference between a ball which has been thrown or batted into the stands, touching a spectator thereby being out of play even though it rebounds onto the field and a spectator going onto the field or reaching over, under or through a barrier and touching a ball in play or touching or otherwise interfering with a player. One replay shown from a left field angle made it look like Betts did reach over the yellow line, but it was not conclusive.
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"He just said that there was fan interference on the field and my argument was more about the fact that the ball was leaving the yard, the trajectory was there", Hinch said during an in-game interview on TBS. The fan interfered with him over the playing field.
The applicable Major League Baseball rule, labeled 3.16 in the official manual, states, "When there is spectator interference with any thrown or batted ball, the ball shall be dead at the moment of interference and the umpire shall impose such penalties as in his opinion will nullify the act of interference". And when asked if it was a clear call in his mind, the umpire said flatly, "Yes". "Jose paid kind of the ultimate price for something out of his control. I'm not sure if Mookie makes that catch, a great athlete, but how it's an assumed out is unbelievable".
"As long as the Astros come back and win this we'll be all right", Caldwell said.
Handed an 8-5 lead, Boston closer Craig Kimbrel ceded a run in the eighth and went to the mound to get the last three outs following an incredible diving catch by Reddick with the bases loaded that ended the top of the ninth. I got like 800 pictures that already came to me - but I'm over the line and I put my hand out and the ball hit my hand. "But I definitely touched the ball", Caldwell told ESPN.