TORONTO – They say there’s no crying in baseball. But no one said anything about no apologies.
Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Edinson Volquez was crusing through five innings in Game 5 of the ALCS on Wednesday – his only blemish was a solo home run he allowed to Chris Colabello in the second that gave the the Blue Jays a 1-0 lead – before losing his command and getting into some trouble in the sixth inning.
Volquez walked Toronto’s leadoff hitter Ben Revere and then hit Josh Donaldson to put runners at first and second. A 10-pitch battle with Jose Bautista followed, which also ended with a walk when home-plate umpire Dan Iassogna called a 3-2 curveball that looked like it caught the outside corner a ball.
Volquez told reporters after the game that the strike zone seemed to shrink in the sixth and that even Iassogna was feeling like he might have missed a call.
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“Yeah, it was kind of tight a little bit. I went back to see the video, and that ball was a strike to Bautista. But you know, there’s nothing you can do,” said Volquez. “[Home-plate umpire Dan Iassogna] apologized [to] Salvy like ‘Oh I thought that pitch was a strike,’ but he didn’t say that to me he said that to Salvy. Situation like that, two men on base, and no outs and 3-2 count, and you throw probably your second best breaking ball of the whole game and he didn’t call it.”
denied that Iassogna apologized according to the Kansas City Star, and crew chief John Hirshbeck told a pool reporter he didn’t think it occurred either. Apology or not, it turned out to be a game-changing decision. Volquez walked Edwin Encarnacion with the bases loaded to give the Blue Jays their second run of the game and was replaced by Kelvin Herrera.For what it’s worth, Perez
Herrera struck out Colabello to record the first out of the inning, but wasn’t able to completely shut Toronto down. Troy Tulowitzki smashed a double off the top of the wall in center field to drive in three runs and make it 5-0. The Blue Jays went on to win 7-1 to force a Game 6 to be played Friday night in Kansas City.
As for Bautista, he wasn’t going to ask any questions on his way down to first base.
“Bottom line is, I ended up on first and Tulo came through,” said Bautista. “He’s doing good. What can you say? We’re not here to question anything. It doesn’t really matter. He was dominating us through the start, and we were able to get to him.”
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But even Bautista – who’s known for his tremendous plate discipline and led the American League in walks this season – wasn’t sure the verdict would go his way.
“I wasn’t. But it did. I was relieved after,” added Bautista. “You could argue I got the benefit of a borderline call.”
A borderline call that led to a big inning that helped ensure the ALCS will continue. And an apology that may or may not have been uttered. October sure knows drama.
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