Trout Kicks Ball After Scoring
The Angels beat the Guardians at Progressive Field on May 12th, 2023 scoring two runs in the top of the ninth. It’s debatable if the winning run should have scored. Here is what happened.
Hunter Renfroe was batting with Mike Trout on third and Brett Phillips on first and one out when Renfroe hit a ground ball to Andrés Giménez. The Guardians’ second baseman threw home in an attempt to get Trout, but the throw was wide. The ball ricocheted off catcher Cam Gallagher’s mitt and rolled several feet to the right of home plate. Phillips, who was running with the pitch, advanced to third.
After Trout scored, he inadvertently kicked the ball. Plate umpire Manny Gonzalez made no call to indicate Trout had interfered with the play.
Should Phillips have been called out because Trout kicked the ball?
Should Trout’s run have been nullified?
Was the no call the proper decision?
Brandon Drury then hit a sac/fly scoring Phillips with the go-ahead run which proved to be the winning run.
- Official Baseball Rule 6.01(a)(5) states, “It is interference by a batter or a runner when any batter or runner who has just been put out, or any runner who has just scored, hinders or impedes any following play being made on a runner. Such runner shall be declared out for the interference of their teammate.”
- Gonzalez had to make the judgment whether or not Trout’s accidental kick of the ball, prevented Gallagher from making a play. For interference to be called, the defensive team must be hindered and impeded from making a legitimate play.
- Would Gallagher have had a legitimate play on Phillips if Trout hadn’t kicked the ball?
- If you take Trout out of the picture, you have to make the judgment whether or not Gallagher would have had a legitimate play on Phillips at third base. The first viewing link that shows an aerial view of the play, gives you the best view of both the catcher and the runner advancing to third.
- I watched this play several times, and in my opinion, regardless of what decision Gonzalez made I can support it. It was very close.
- Gallagher’s back was turned to the runner (Phillips) when he pursued the ball. I think chances are he would have been able to make a legitimate play. But if there is doubt, I would protect the offensive team and not invoke the interference rule.
- In certain interference plays, the umpire’s judgment is the result of a variety of factors. The mere fact that Trout kicked the ball does not in itself constitute interference.
- For interference to be called, Gonzalez would have to rule that the kicking of the ball hindered or impeded Gallagher from making a legitimate play on Phillips.
- Intent on the part of Trout would be irrelevant regarding this type of interference.
- You cannot take away Trout’s run because he scored a legal run. Rule 5.08 (a) Comment reads, “A run legally scored cannot be nullified by the subsequent action of the runner…”
- So, here’s a play where I will let you make the call.
Rules consultant/analyst: Angels, D’backs, Dodgers, Nationals, Orioles, Padres, Phillies, Pirates, Red Sox, Rangers, Royals, Tigers, Twins, White Sox, Yankees, Bally Sports, YES, and NBC Sports Chicago.