While the city of Houston had a collective rough night as they watched the Boston Red Sox take a 3-1 lead over their beloved Astros, no one in the state of Texas has a worse night than Troy Caldwell.
In the bottom of the first inning — with the Astros already trailing 2-0 in the game (and 2-1 in the series) — designated hitter Jose Altuve belted a ball to the right-field wall that forced Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts to leap into the stands to try and prevent the home run.
As Betts extended his arm over the 7-foot right-field wall, the ball bounced back onto the field of play.
Following the controversial moment, replays showed that Betts’ left arm stretched over the wall and into the sea of fans. As he tried to make the catch, Betts’ glove closed a split-second too early, which he says it was because the glove made contact with an Astros fan’s hands.
That fan was later identified as Troy Caldwell, who later (jokingly?) requested a security escort out of the game.
As for Caldwell, he denies having interfered with the play, saying: “I didn’t reach over the wall; I was on this side of the line. I don’t understand what happened. I know the rules, and I didn’t reach over the line.”
Luckily, Houston seems to be treating Troy Caldwell far kinder than Chicago treated the infamous Steve Bartman over a decade ago, as a local barbeque joint offered Caldwell free food and encouraged nearby fans to buy him a beer.
The Astros and Red Sox will face off for Game 5 on Thursday, October 18 at 8:09 p.m. in Houston.