By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Nobody could believe Tony Kemp made the catch to end the top of the third inning on Tuesday afternoon. Nobody watching on TV, and nobody watching in the stadium. Even the players in the game couldn’t believe that Kemp had made the catch.
And that’s probably because Kemp didn’t make the catch.
The catch in question came with two runners on base and two outs, with the Red Sox leading 2-1 in Game 3 of the ALCS. Steve Pearce sent a towering fly ball to left field. Kemp backtracked, and backtracked, then backtracked some more, before planting his feet and timing his leap.
Kemp jumped with the his glove high above his head, and though everyone in the stadium heard the loud clang that typically signals a baseball hitting the metal scoreboard, Kemp made the grab to end the inning and rob the Red Sox of scoring at least one run, but most likely two runs. (Xander Bogaerts was at first base and had the benefit of running full-bore, because there were two outs in the inning.)
Red Sox manager Alex Cora challenged the play, but the MLB replay center ruled that the call on the field was correct.
This appears to be a botched call by the replay officials in New York.
The initial replay by the TBS broadcast looked like the baseball went directly into the webbing of Kemp’s glove. But that appeared to be a quesitonable angle.
When the replay gets slowed down, the ball clearly hits the scoreboard on its way down to Kemp’s glove. See for yourself:
You can see the tile on the scoreboard move just before the ball enters Kemp’s glove.
You can also see that angle here, around the :55 mark:
The loud clang can be heard there, as well.
The call on the field was difficult to make, but the replay officials in New York should have been able to see that. Why they did not will remain a mystery for the time being, but the Red Sox can feel as though they should have had another run or two on the board in the third inning.
The ruling proved to be inconsequential, at least in terms of this game, as the Red Sox went on to win 8-2.