Astros tie ALCS after controversial ball-strike call leads to 7-run rally

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BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 19: Manager Alex Cora of the Boston Red Sox argues with umpire Laz Diaz after he is called out on strikes during the third inning of game four of the 2021 American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros at Fenway Park on October 19, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
Boston isn't happy with Laz Diaz. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

The Houston Astros tied the ALCS, and the Boston Red Sox might have a gripe or two about how they got there.

The game-winning rally came in the ninth inning, which started with the game tied 2-2. The Astros got two men on with two outs against Red Sox starter-turned reliever Nate Eovaldi, leaving catcher Jason Castro to continue the inning.

Castro fell behind 1-2, then Eovaldi threw a curveball that seemed to hit the outside corner of the plate ... and then was called a ball.

You will not be shocked to hear that Red Sox fans had some thoughts on that call from home plate umpire Laz Diaz, who has never had the best reputation when it comes to calling balls and strikes.

The pitch certainly could have been called a strike. Did it rob the Red Sox? Well, the pitch was a curveball that spent plenty of time on the outside corner and didn't seem to be fully in the strike zone judging from the more advanced trackers.

Suffice to say, there have been more egregious "blown" calls.

The close call was part of a rough night for Diaz, which didn't help things.

Ball or strike, the pitch preceded some bat times for Boston. Castro broke the tie with a single, then the Astros proceeded to tag incoming reliever Martin Perez until the lead was 9-2.

The Red Sox and Astros are now tied 2-2, with Game 5 scheduled for 5:08 p.m. ET at Fenway Park on Wednesday.

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