Astros manager's pointless cries to umpires rendered moot after Angels' walk-off win

Keep crying, Joe Espada!
Los Angeles Angels catcher Logan O'Hoppe (14) hits a game winning 2-run home run
Los Angeles Angels catcher Logan O'Hoppe (14) hits a game winning 2-run home run / Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels got revenge on the Houston Astros with their come-from-behind walk-off win on Sunday. LA had dropped the first two games of the series to the defending AL West champions, and only mustered two combined runs in those contests.

But Logan O'Hoppe came up huge Sunday afternoon at Angel Stadium and sent the fans home happy. O'Hoppe's walk-off blast in the ninth inning off Astros' closer Josh Hader gave the Halos a winning homestand and may help boost the team's spirits before heading on their roadtrip.

But O'Hoppe's two-run bomb to left field — that was almost caught — did not come without controversy. First was the fact that former Angels' player Trey Cabbage almost secured the catch. Then, O'Hoppe (almost) overran Kevin Pillar on the base paths. And that's what got Astros' manager Joe Espada up in arms. But it really didn't matter.

Astros manager cries to umpires, but LA Angels still enjoy walk-off win

Almost as soon as the ball was jarred out of Cabbage's glove after the Astros' outfielder attempted to make a game-saving catch, Espada rushed onto the field to dispute the call. It appeared as if O'Hoppe may have ran past Pillar, who was almost stationary at first base.

Espada wanted O'Hoppe called out. According to Baseball Rules Academy, when a runner passes the runner ahead of him, the trail runner is out. The rule goes on to state that the ball remains alive and the lead runner (who was passed) may continue to run, but at his own risk.

So, in this scenario, with just one out at the time of O'Hoppe's game-winning big fly, even if he did run past Pillar on the base paths, Pillar would have been permitted to score — ending the game at 8-7 instead of 9-7. As it turns out, the umpires ruled that the home run counted and O'Hoppe did not pass Pillar, which is why the Halos secured the two-run edge once the game was over.

No matter which way you slice it, the Angels walked out of the stadium with a hard-fought W. There were several times when it looked as though the win was out of reach, but the Angels kept chipping away. The Halos now head to desert for a three-game series with Arizona Diamondbacks having won four of their last six games.

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