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.
Mookie Betts was about to rob José Altuve of a home run … until a fan's hand got in the way.
It was ruled an out on review. pic.twitter.com/NLzAnNJ1vj
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 18, 2018
That fan was later identified as Troy Caldwell, who later (jokingly?) requested a security escort out of the game.
Here’s Troy Caldwell. He was the fan who was ruled to have interfered with the Astros potential home run ball. “I’m going to need security to escort me out of here if the Astros don’t come back to win this.” pic.twitter.com/IXE2uEzSoW
— Matt Young (@Chron_MattYoung) October 18, 2018
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.
Bullsh*t… Hey #Houston if you are at the game BUY THIS GUY A BEER! Did absolutely nothing wrong except be a fan! BBQ on us Troy Caldwell… hopefully this message makes it to him. #NeverSettle #astros https://t.co/OLo1VZG6pP
— Pinkerton's Barbecue (@PinkertonsBBQ) October 18, 2018
The Astros and Red Sox will face off for Game 5 on Thursday, October 18 at 8:09 p.m. in Houston.