HOUSTON – There was a scary collision in Sunday's Astros-Angels game when Astros outfielder Jake Marisnick crashed into Angels catcher Jonathan Lucroy on a close play at home plate.
The game was tied 10-10 in the bottom of the eighth inning with the bases loaded and one out for the Astros when George Springer lifted a fly ball to right field. Marisnick tagged up from third base and right fielder Kole Calhoun's throw home was bobbled by Lucroy just in front of home plate before Marisnick collided full speed with Lucroy.
[WARNING: The social media posts embedded below have offensive language]
The call generated a bit of a social media storm as 9-time Gold Glove St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina launched a profanity-laced tirade over the incident.
Marisnick's Astros teammates defended him in the comments and on their social media accounts.
"First and foremost. I hope he's OK," said Marisnick after the game. "That was a bad play. For me, I was running and I see him take a step kind of up the line like he's going to drop and go back so I tried to take an instep and slide head first on the inside corner. And I watched the play again and it looks...he just drops right in front of me and once I kind of made a decision it was too late."
"And it was a bad play and I hope he's OK," he said.
Lucroy appeared to be knocked unconscious momentarily after the contact and Marisnick immediately went over to him to check on him knowing the violence of their collision. Lucroy was bleeding from the nose and was taken off the field in a cart to be checked for a concussion.
Marisnick was ruled safe on the play by the home plate umpire, but following a video review, Marisnick was ruled out.
Angels manager and former Astros catcher Brad Ausmus thought a suspension was in order for Marisnick.
"It certainly didn't look like a clean play," said Ausmus. "I don't know what actually happened. It looked like Marisnick took a step to the left and bowled into him with his arm up. The call was right."
"Major League Baseball should probably take a look at it and consider some type of suspension, quite frankly," he said.
"I don't fault Jake, because he wasn't hunting him, he wasn't going after him," Astros manager A.J. Hinch, also a former major league catcher, said. "It’s difficult in that one to three-foot circle where you're trying to figure out, going in full speed, what's going to happen. Just turned out to be an ugly play."
As for Molina's post, here's how Astros players responded:
abreg_1 Jake was not trying to blow him up or hurt him. It was an unfortunate play that we all hate to see but Jake is not a dirty player. I understand that everyone has an opinion but he was legit trying to dive and avoid the tag.
lancemccullers43 This is number 1 bs. This play was an accidental collision. It was unfortunate it happened and we all hope Lucroy is okay! Nobody wants anyone hurt and missing time, we are a brotherhood. You have been around long enough to know.
josealtuve27 Entiendo que el resultado de la jugada no era el que queríamos pero no hubo mala intención en ningún momento. Jake es el mejor teammate que alguien pueda tener y los que lo conocemos sabemos que es así . Saludos mi bro
teamcjcorrea Yadi hermano mi máximo respeto siempre y tú lo sabes! Jake no lo hizo intencionalmente! Tú sabes que esas decisiones se toman en milésimas de segundos y Jake decidió tirarse por dentro y a la misma vez Lucroy se movió en la misma dirección y al ver que iban a chocar trato de voltear pero ya era muy tarde! Todos tenemos una opinión y se respeta, pero no creo que es justo que castiguen a un jugador por tratar de anotar una carrera sin intención de hacerle daño a nadie!! Se le quiere y se le respeta siempre
el_yuly10 No tuvo mala intención