By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — In the playoffs, emotions can be heightened a bit. Nothing can set someone off quite like a bad call.

And on Tuesday night, in the bottom of the third inning of Game 4 of the ALCS between the Red Sox and Astros, home plate umpire Laz Diaz made a bad call. A very bad call.

With the Red Sox leading 2-1, J.D. Martinez was at bat with one out and a runner on base. Martinez had taken three balls off the plate in the at-bat, and with Alex Verdugo breaking for second base on the seventh pitch of the at-bat, Martinez watched again as a pitch sailed in well wide of the plate.

Martinez began walking toward first base, only to receive some bad news from Diaz.

The umpire rung up Martinez with a called strike three, stopping an incredulous Martinez in his tracks. With good reason.

Martinez lingered for a bit, prompting manager Alex Cora to hop out of the Red Sox’ dugout and prevent his power hitter from saying anything that might lead to an ejection.

It was at that point that Cora had a few words for Diaz, and that conversation blew up rather quickly.

Carlos Febles separates Alex Cora from umpire Laz Diaz. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Alex Cora argues with Laz Diaz (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Alex Cora argues with umpire Laz Diaz. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Carlos Febles separates Alex Cora from umpire Laz Diaz. (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)

Somehow, despite the tried and true rule that you can’t argue balls and strikes without being handed an almost automatic ejection, Cora didn’t get sent to the clubhouse for the night. Perhaps Diaz realized that he had made a fairly terrible mistake and thus allowed Cora to let off some steam.

After the dust settled, Hunter Renfroe stepped in and struck out, ending the inning and the potential threat for the Red Sox in the inning.

UPDATE: This ended up not being the only case of Laz Diaz’s strike zone impacting the game. It became quite the story.