For all of its benefits, sometimes instant replay still sucks. Such was the case Tuesday night in Oakland, as the A’s hosted the Angels in an attempt to catch the Yankees for the top Wild Card spot in the American League.
Things were going smoothly through five innings, as Oakland built up a 4-1 lead. However, in the top of the sixth everything went haywire. A Jose Fernandez walk, a Shawn Kelly wild pitch, and singles by Justin Upton and Shohei Ohtani loaded the bases for the Angels. Andrelton Simmons stepped up to the plate, and then this happened:
Simmons sliced a ball into foul territory over in right field. Oakland outfielder Stephen Piscotty was trying to track it down near the wall, which is an admittedly tough play, but a fan reached over the fence and got in the way. The fan almost made the catch, actually, but the ball ended up slipped out of her glove before she could bring it back into the seats.
As the home crowd booed, the umpires merely declared it a foul ball — even though Piscotty appeared to be directly underneath the ball. The A’s asked for a challenge, and the replay officials upheld the ruling on the field. Despite that, the fan was still ejected for interfering with a ball in play — but only after Simmons hit a two-run single. Later in the inning Kaleb Cowart blasted a grand slam off reliever Lou Trivino as the Angels scored six runs in the inning.
The Angels eventually won 9-7 and the A’s remain 2.5 games behind the Yankees for the top Wild Card spot (although they are 5.5 games up on Tampa Bay for the second one). Replay is a joke and should be abolished.