Major League Baseball have announced that the umpiring crew who took charge of the game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Houston Astros have been disciplined.
The decision, announced on Friday afternoon, came after the crew, headed by Fieldin Culbreth, failed to apply rule 3.05(b). The rule states that a pitcher must face at least one hitter before he is replaced, unless he is injured.
The Angels, who eventually won the game 6-5, rightly stated that pitcher Wesley Wright should not have been replaced by Hector Ambriz.
With two outs and runners on first and second base, Astros skipper Bo Porter brought in left hander Wright to throw against J.B Shuck. After bringing in Wright, Porter recognised that the next hitter after Shuck was right handed Luis Jimenez and immediately subbed Wright for Ambriz.
Under rule 3.05 (b), this substitution is illegal unless the pitcher is injured, which he wasn't. As a result, Angels manager Mike Scioscia argued at length with the umpires, but with no resolution, the Angels played under protest before they ran out 6-5 winners after a three run, eighth inning rally.
Chief umpire Culbreth was handed a two game suspension and a fine, with the other three umpires also receiving a fine.
Porter announced that he had apologised to Culbreth for putting them into that position and reiterated his point through the media, saying he only put Ambriz in due to his innocent interpretation of the rules.
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