The Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays were tied at 5-5 in Game 4 of their ALDS series when things got interesting in the bottom of the eighth inning. Boston’s Hunter Renfroe came up to bat with teammate Alex Verdugo standing on second base. Renfroe lifted a fly ball into right center field in between Tampa Bay outfielders Kevin Kiermaier and Randy Arozarena. Kiermaier caught the ball and got ready to throw to third as Verdugo tagged up.
Kiermaier threw a perfect strike to third baseman Yandy Diaz. The ball beat Verdugo to third, and the tag happened within a fraction of a second of Verdugo sliding into the base. The call on the field was Verdugo was out. It held up during an official review.
You can watch the play here. Should the runner have been ruled safe?
Here’s are two more angles of the throw and the tag.
Maybe this is too close to tell on replay. The call on the field was that the runner was out, and the umpires apparently didn’t see enough evidence to overturn it.
Was the runner safe or out? I thought Verdugo was safe seeing the play in real time. I also thought he was safe on replay. The FS1 announcers wondered if Verdugo’s arm came off the bag at any point while the tag was applied, but it sure doesn’t look like it.
Either way, what an incredible throw by Kiermaier. That was an absolute laser. He’s known as one of baseball’s best centerfielders for a reason.
The Red Sox would have had a runner on third with two outs and catcher Christian Vázquez up to bat. Vázquez ended up getting a leadoff single in the bottom of the ninth.
The Red Sox won on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth when Kike Hernández drove in Danny Santana. Boston won the game, 6-5, and is now going to the ALCS. The Red Sox will face the winner of Astros vs. White Sox with Houston leading 2-1.