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Video: Phillies get a double play thanks to an illegal slide by Kevin Pillar

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The Blue Jays led the Phillies 4-0 and were threatening more runs with the bases loaded and one out in the top of the third inning against Aaron Nola. Darwin Barney hit what appeared to be an inning-ending double play to shortstop Freddy Galvis, who flipped to second baseman Cesar Hernandez. Hernandez leaped to avoid an incoming Kevin Pillar, making a weak and late throw to first base. A run scored and Barney was safe at first base.

The Phillies challenged the call, however, and the ruling was overturned, giving the Phillies an inning-ending double play after all.

Here’s the slide:

Here’s another video with a better angle. And here’s a good screen capture:

pillarslide

Baseball’s new slide rule, Rule 6.01(j), a bona fide slide is defined as:

making contact with the ground before reaching the base, being able to and attempting to reach the base with a hand or foot, being able to and attempting to remain on the base at the completion of the slide (except at home plate) and not changing his path for the purpose of initiating contact with a fielder.

One can make a tenuous claim that Pillar attempted to stay on the base. Pillar certainly curled his body up in an attempt to interfere with Hernandez.

Many will complain about baseball becoming wimpy with rules designed to protect the fielders. I, for one, think the sport is headed in the right direction when defenseless infielders don’t have to worry about 200-plus pounds of human flesh and bone speeding towards them in an attempt to prevent a double play. The less we have incidents like the ones that involved Ruben Tejada, Alex Avila, and Buster Posey, the better.

Red Sox end Astros’ 10-game winning streak

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The Red Sox salvaged the final game of their three-game home series against the Astros, winning 4-3 on Sunday afternoon. In doing so, they ended the Astros’ 10-game winning streak.

Xander Bogaerts struck the decisive blow, knocking in a run with a double in the seventh inning to break a 3-3 tie. Michael Chavis also hit another homer — his eighth of the season — while Mookie Betts collected three hits and scored three runs to raise his OPS to .899.

The Astros last lost on May 7 against the Royals, the second game of a three-game series. The Astros won the final game of that set, then swept the Rangers in a four-game series, the Tigers in three, and won the first two games against the Red Sox. It’s their second 10-game winning streak of the season, as they won 10 striaght between April 5-16, sweeping the Athletics, Yankees, and Mariners before losing the second of two games against the A’s in Oakland.

At 31-16, the Astros are slightly behind the Twins — in progress as of this writing — for the best winning percentage in the majors. The Red Sox, meanwhile, have made up some ground after ending April 13-17. They’re now 24-22, good for third place in the AL East.