Jose Bautista says he “lost a lot of respect for [Ned Yost] today”

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The Blue Jays and Royals don’t seem to be very big fans of each other. Royals starter Edinson Volquez made a habit out of pitching inside to Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson, including when he hit him with a pitch in the third inning. That led to retaliation later in the game, and an eventual benches-clearing incident.

Royals reliever Ryan Madson pitched inside to shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and Donaldson in the seventh inning, which escalated matters before Blue Jays reliever Aaron Sanchez hit shortstop Alcides Escobar in the bottom half of the frame.

After the game, Royals manager Ned Yost stated that his pitchers weren’t throwing at batters intentionally, and went out of his way to praise home plate umpire Jim Wolf. Via John Lott of the National Post:

Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista responded to Yost’s comments on Twitter, saying he “[l]ost a lot of respect for that man today.”

Jays starter R.A. Dickey, who pitched seven scoreless innings and earned a win on Sunday, likened the Royals to kids on a playground when a bigger kid shows up.

Umpire Cory Blaser made two atrocious calls in the top of the 11th inning

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The Astros walked off 3-2 winners in the bottom of the 11th inning of ALCS Game 2 against the Yankees. Carlos Correa struck the winning blow, sending a first-pitch fastball from J.A. Happ over the fence in right field at Minute Maid Park, ending nearly five hours of baseball on Sunday night.

Correa’s heroics were precipitated by two highly questionable calls by home plate umpire Cory Blaser in the top half of the 11th.

Astros reliever Joe Smith walked Edwin Encarnación with two outs, prompting manager A.J. Hinch to bring in Ryan Pressly. Pressly, however, served up a single to left field to Brett Gardner, putting runners on first and second with two outs. Hinch again came out to the mound, this time bringing Josh James to face power-hitting catcher Gary Sánchez.

James and Sánchez had an epic battle. Sánchez fell behind 0-2 on a couple of foul balls, proceeded to foul off five of the next six pitches. On the ninth pitch of the at-bat, Sánchez appeared to swing and miss at an 87 MPH slider in the dirt for strike three and the final out of the inning. However, Blaser ruled that Sánchez tipped the ball, extending the at-bat. Replays showed clearly that Sánchez did not make contact at all with the pitch. James then threw a 99 MPH fastball several inches off the plate outside that Blaser called for strike three. Sánchez, who shouldn’t have seen a 10th pitch, was upset at what appeared to be a make-up call.

The rest, as they say, is history. One pitch later, the Astros evened up the ALCS at one game apiece. Obviously, Blaser’s mistakes in a way cancel each other out, and neither of them caused Happ to throw a poorly located fastball to Correa. It is postseason baseball, however, and umpires are as much under the microscope as the players and managers. Those were two particularly atrocious judgments by Blaser.