Laz Diaz blew a third strike call to start the Astros’ rout of the Red Sox

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Championship Series - Houston Astros v Boston Red Sox - Game FourPhoto by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

Game 4 of the ALCS turned into a stroke retired aft a missed onslaught successful the ninth inning.

The Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros were tied 2-2 successful the apical of the ninth inning successful Game 4 of the ALCS. The Astros started the inning successful promising manner erstwhile Carlos Correa deed a treble disconnected Boston pitcher Nathan Eovaldi to leadoff the frame. Eovaldi past struck retired Houston’s Kyle Tucker, issued an intentional locomotion to Yuli Gurriel, and struck retired Aledmys Díaz connected a swinging strike.

Eovaldi faced past Jason Castro with 2 connected and 2 outs. With Boston holding a 2-1 bid pb and playing astatine Fenway Park, the signifier was acceptable for the astir melodramatic infinitesimal of the series.

Castro took onslaught one. Eovaldi looked similar helium threw different onslaught connected the 2nd transportation of the at-bat connected a fastball, but it was called precocious for shot one. Castro past fouled disconnected a transportation for onslaught two. Eovaldi went to his curveball for the adjacent pitch, and it definite looked similar it should person been a strike. Instead, location sheet umpire Laz Diaz called it a ball.

Two pitches later, Castro singled successful the go-ahead run. The Astros would spell connected to people 7 runs successful the framework each with 2 outs, with 4 of those runs credited to Eovaldi.

The Astros won, 9-2, to necktie the ALCS astatine 2-2.

Here’s the missed 3rd onslaught telephone by Diaz. If it’s a strike, the Red Sox are going into the bottommost of the ninth tied, with the accidental instrumentality a commanding 3-1 bid lead.

That's game. This "ball" led to Nate Eovaldi being charged 4 runs and the #RedSox dropping Game 4. Should've been tied, going to the bottommost of the ninth.

— Adam Kaufman (@AdamMKaufman) October 20, 2021

That should person been a strike. Red Sox fans aren’t going to hide that one.

Here’s a look astatine each transportation successful the at-bat. Pitch No. 4 is the 1 successful question.

Jason Castro struck retired looking (4). But past helium singled 2 pitches later. It's 3-2 successful the 9th.

It's clip for the robots. Umpires person done this to themselves. #RedSox

— Bill Koch (@BillKoch25) October 20, 2021

Missed calls happen, of course. We’ve seen MLB umpires person immoderate regrettable moments successful this postseason already. The bigger contented is that Diaz was an inaccurate location sheet umpire each year, and helium missed truthful galore much calls than Eovaldi’s 4th transportation to Castro successful the ninth inning.

According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, Diaz missed 23 calls down location sheet connected the night. As Passan said successful his travel up tweet: 12 of them were connected pitches thrown by the Red Sox, and 11 were connected pitches thrown by the Astros, truthful it’s not similar Diaz was favoring Houston. He was conscionable atrocious each around.

Home-plate umpire Laz Diaz has missed 21 ball-strike calls tonight, according to @ESPNStatsInfo. That is the astir of immoderate umpire this postseason. The greenish dot successful the precocious RH country is the Eovaldi curveball that would've ended apical of the ninth with the people 2-2.

It is present 9-2.

— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) October 20, 2021

Who could person seen this coming? Well, a batch of people.

Diaz was beauteous brutal arsenic a location sheet umpire each twelvemonth according to the numbers:

Laz Diaz volition telephone balls and strikes successful crippled 4 of the ALCS. He was 1 of the worst location sheet umpires successful MLB this year. Bottom 6% successful accuracy, bottommost 12% successful consistency. Buckle up.

— The Astros Locker (@TheAstrosLocker) October 15, 2021

An umpire with that benignant of illustration astir apt shouldn’t beryllium down location sheet successful Game 4 of the ALCS. If lone Major League Baseball was crisp capable to recognize that.

The Red Sox and Astros are present going to Game 5 astatine Fenway with the bid tied. The past 2 games of the bid are astatine Houston. If the Red Sox neglect to triumph the pennant, Diaz’s unsmooth nighttime down the sheet volition beryllium a sore taxable successful Boston for a agelong time.

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