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The postseason brings the biggest moments, the biggest heroes, and sometimes, the biggest controversies.

When there is disagreement about a key call, the higher stakes can raise tensions and create a play that sticks in the minds of players and fans for years to come. Here is a look back at some of the most notable disputed calls from the postseason.

2019 World Series Game 6: Trea Turner called out
Protecting a one-run lead in the seventh inning, the Nationals, trying to force a Game 7, were looking for insurance runs when Turner followed Yan Gomes’ leadoff single with a swinging bunt that dribbled to the left of the mound. Pitcher Brad Peacock whipped a throw to first baseman Yuli Gurriel, who had to reach toward the baseline and had his glove knocked off by Turner as he lunged for the base. Turner was called out for interfering with the fielder, which led to a lengthy discussion and a fierce argument from Nats manager Dave Martinez, who became the first manager to be ejected from a World Series since Atlanta’s Bobby Cox in Game 6 in 1996. Washington got the last laugh, however, as Anthony Rendon hit a two-run homer later in the inning, as the Nationals won, 7-2. They would go on to win the series in seven games, becoming the first champion to win four road games in the World Series.

2018 American League Championship Series Game 4: Mookie Betts’ homer-robbing catch
The Red Sox took a 2-0 lead in the first inning, but it looked like the Astros might tie it in the bottom of the frame when José Altuve lifted a deep fly ball to right field at Minute Maid Park. Betts drifted back to the wall, jumped and had the ball deflect off his glove and back onto the field of play. But the ump ruled that a fan had interfered with Betts, preventing him from making the catch. Altuve was called out, a potential big inning for Houston turned into zero runs and Boston went on to win, 8-6, on the way to a championship.

Betts on fan interference call
Betts on fan interference call
Oct. 17th, 2018
2015 National League Division Series Game 2: Chase Utley’s slide
Utley was never popular with Mets fans from his days with the Phillies, but he sealed his enemy status in the seventh inning at Dodger Stadium. The Mets held a one-run lead with one out in the seventh, when the Dodgers put runners on the corners with one out. Howie Kendrick hit a potential double play ball up the middle, but Utley wiped out shortstop Rubén Tejada at second with a hard slide that allowed the tying run to score in what would become a four-run inning. Tejada sustained a broken leg and the Mets were furious over the lack of an interference call for what they saw as a dirty play. The Mets lost the game, 5-2, but they came back to win the series in the decisive fifth game.

Must C: Tejada injured on slide
Must C: Tejada injured on slide
Oct. 10th, 2015
2013 World Series: The Will Middlebrooks obstruction play
The Cardinals and Red Sox had split the first two games, and Game 3 was tied entering the bottom of the ninth, when St. Louis placed runners on second and third with one out. A walk-off win looked likely, but the way it happened was anything but ordinary. Jon Jay hit a ground ball. Dustin Pedroia made a diving stop and threw out Yadier Molina at home. Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia then tried to catch Allen Craig at third but threw wildly. Craig was subsequently thrown out trying to score by left fielder Daniel Nava, but the umpires called third baseman Middlebrooks for obstruction, saying he impeded Craig. The Cards won the game at home, 5-4, but the Sox captured the series in six games.

Cards walk off on obstruction
Cards walk off on obstruction
Oct. 26th, 2013
2012 NL Wild Card Game: The infield fly rule
The Braves brought the tying run to the plate with one out in the eighth when Andrelton Simmons lofted a high fly ball into no man’s land in shallow left. Shortstop Pete Kozma ranged well into the outfield grass, but the ball fell between he and left fielder Matt Holliday — seemingly loading the bases for Atlanta. But the left-field umpire made a delayed infield fly call, deeming that Kozma had time to settle under the ball to strand runners at second and third base and put another out on the board.

The game was delayed 19 minutes as the Braves argued the call and fans at Turner Field began throwing debris onto the field. Atlanta was ultimately unable to score in the inning, and St. Louis went on to claim the winner-take-all contest, 6-3.

Umps rule infield fly on popup
Umps rule infield fly on popup
Oct. 5th, 2012
2007 NL West tiebreaker: Matt Holliday’s slide
This wasn’t technically a postseason game, but we’ll count it here since it was an elimination game. The NL West came down to a Game 163 in 2007, and that game came down to one very momentous play. The Padres carried an 8-6 lead over the Rockies to the bottom of the 13th at Coors Field before Colorado tied it with three straight extra-base hits off future Hall of Fame closer Trevor Hoffman. Todd Helton took an intentional walk and then Jamey Carroll hit a liner to right with Holliday on third. Holliday tagged and sprinted home and seemingly beat the tag, except replay would show that he may not have touched home plate.

Holliday didn’t go back to touch home before the Rockies celebrated, and Padres fans still maintain that he never touched the bag. Colorado moved on to the postseason and eventually the World Series with the 9-8 win, while San Diego’s season came to an end.

Holliday safe at home
Holliday safe at home
Oct. 1st, 2007
2005 ALCS Game 2: A.J. Pierzynski and the dropped third strike
The White Sox, on their way to a championship, were tied with the Angels, 1-1, in the ninth inning and down a game in the series. With two outs, it appeared that Pierzynski whiffed on a low pitch from Kelvim Escobar to send the game into extras. But as the Halos ran off the field, Pierzynski ran to first base as if there was a dropped third strike, reaching easily. Home-plate umpire Doug Eddings agreed — to the Angels’ dismay — as they believed catcher Josh Paul snagged the pitch cleanly. Once play resumed, Pablo Ozuna ran for Pierzynski, stole second and scored on Joe Crede’s walk-off double for a 2-1 victory. The White Sox would go on to win their first World Series since 1917.

White Sox wild rally in 9th
White Sox wild rally in 9th
Oct. 12th, 2005
2004 ALCS Game 6: A-Rod’s glove swat
There were plenty of iconic moments in the Red Sox’s historic comeback in the 2004 ALCS — Dave Roberts’ steal, David Ortiz’s walk-offs and Curt Schilling’s bloody sock — but Alex Rodriguez’s glove swat takes the title of most disputed. In the eighth inning of Game 6 at Yankee Stadium, the Red Sox were trying to hold on to force Game 7, but the Yankees had just pulled to within 4-2 on Derek Jeter’s RBI single. Rodriguez, the tying run, stepped to the plate against Bronson Arroyo … and squibbed a slow grounder to the right side of the infield. Arroyo came off the mound to field the ball and raced over to tag Rodriguez, who swatted at Arroyo’s glove, knocking the ball free and down the right-field line, allowing Jeter to come all the way around to score.

But wait! After Red Sox manager Terry Francona came out to argue and a long discussion by the umpires, A-Rod was called out for interference and Jeter sent back to first. Yanks fans were incensed, and Rodriguez and manager Joe Torre argued the call to no avail. The Red Sox went on to win the game, 4-2, complete their comeback in Game 7 and eventually end an 86-year title drought.

A-Rod slaps ball from Arroyo
A-Rod slaps ball from Arroyo
Oct. 19th, 2004
1999 ALCS Game 4: Chuck Knoblauch’s phantom tag
This was Red Sox vs. Yankees at Fenway Park, so the atmosphere was already tense. With the Yanks holding onto a 3-2 lead with one out in the eighth, Jose Offerman appeared to beat out a double play with Mariano Rivera on the mound, but he was called out due to what the umpires deemed to be a tag between first and second base by Knoblauch, the Yankees’ second baseman. But a closer look revealed that Knoblauch never touched Offerman, missing him by a wide margin before throwing to first for the “second out.”

The Yanks scored six runs in the ninth for a 9-2 victory before clinching the series the next day en route to their second of three consecutive World Series crowns.

Knoblauch’s ‘phantom’ tag
Knoblauch’s ‘phantom’ tag
Oct. 17th, 1999
1998 ALCS Game 2: Knoblauch argues a call mid-play
Game 2 stretched into the 12th inning at Yankee Stadium when Cleveland’s Travis Fryman laid down a bunt. Yankees reliever Jeff Nelson threw the ball to first, but it hit Fryman with the ball. Knoblauch, covering first, pointed toward the baseline to argue that Fryman had gotten in the way, but the play was not ruled dead and the Indians kept running, with Enrique Wilson coming around to score from first.

Torre came out to argue the play, and the umpires conferred for several minutes before maintaining their call. Cleveland tacked on two more runs and evened the series at one game apiece in a 4-1 win, but New York took the series in six and the World Series.

Knoblauch’s miscue at first
Knoblauch’s miscue at first
Oct. 7th, 1998
1996 ALCS Game 1: Jeffrey Maier aids Derek Jeter
The first championship run of the Yankees’ 1990s dynasty was not without controversy. Baltimore led New York, 4-3, in the bottom of the eighth inning in Game 1 when Jeter hit a hard fly ball to the right-field fence. It looked as though Orioles right fielder Tony Tarasco could have caught the ball, but Yankees fan Maier reached out and tried to glove the ball before it bounced into the stands. Tarasco argued for fan interference, but it was not given. The Yanks went on to win the game, 5-4, in 11 innings before going on to capture the series and their first championship in 18 years.

Jeter’s Maier-assisted home run
Jeter’s Maier-assisted home run
May 2nd, 2017
1991 World Series Game 2: Kent Hrbek moves Ron Gant
A Series ultimately remembered for the duel between Jack Morris and John Smoltz in Game 7 also had a wild moment earlier on. The Twins held a 2-1 lead in the third inning at the Metrodome when Gant hit a two-out single to left field, sending Lonnie Smith to third. Dan Gladden’s throw got away, but pitcher Kevin Tapani was backing up the play and fired to first to try to catch Gant. While Gant made it back in time, Hrbek “helped” him come off first base by lifting his leg. Gant was ruled out, and Minnesota went on to win the game, 3-2, and the series in seven.

Hrbek lifts Gant off bag
Hrbek lifts Gant off bag
Oct. 20th, 1991
1986 NLCS Game 3: Wally Backman’s bunt single
With the series tied, the Mets trailed the Astros by a run entering the bottom of the ninth at Shea Stadium. New York’s Backman led off against Houston’s Dave Smith by bunting up the first-base line. First baseman Glenn Davis fielded the ball and tried to tag Backman, who avoided him but in doing so appeared to swerve out of the baseline to the outside before diving headfirst into the bag. The Astros argued that Backman should have been called out, but to no avail. Later in the inning, Lenny Dykstra hit a walk-off homer for the 6-5 victory, and the Mets went on to win the NLCS and a ring.

Backman leads off 9th with bunt
Backman leads off 9th with bunt
Oct. 11th, 1986
1985 World Series Game 6: Don Denkinger misses call at first base
Three outs away from a World Series title, the Cardinals held a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the ninth at Royals Stadium. Jorge Orta led off the inning with a ground ball wide of first that first baseman Jack Clark went over to field as pitcher Todd Worrell ran over to cover the bag. Clark tossed to first, and it appeared Worrell caught the ball and got his foot to the bag before Orta reached it. But first-base umpire Denkinger ruled Orta safe.

The next batter, Steve Balboni, singled to left and was pinch-run for. Jim Sundberg laid down a sacrifice bunt attempt, but Worrell got the lead out at third. A passed ball moved runners to second and third before Worrell intentionally walked Hal McRae. Pinch-hitter Dane Iorg followed with a two-run walk-off single. The Royals got a gem from Bret Saberhagen the next night as Kansas City won the World Series.

“The object is to get the call right,” Denkinger said in 2014. “That’s a good thing. So I’m all for review. And if they had it back then, probably nobody would ever know my name.”

Denkinger’s missed call
Denkinger’s missed call
Oct. 26th, 1985
1978 World Series Game 4: Ball deflects off Reggie
The Yankees and Dodgers were facing off in their second straight World Series and Reggie Jackson — the man who put himself into the history books with his three-homer game against L.A. the year before — was at the center of another big play. The Dodgers led, 3-1, in the sixth inning at Yankee Stadium when Lou Piniella hit a liner to shortstop Bill Russell, who dropped the ball but picked it up quickly and stepped on second for a forceout. Russell pivoted and threw to first for a potential double play, but Jackson, running from first to second, stuck out his hip and deflected the throw into the outfield. Thurman Munson came around to score, bringing the Yanks within a run.

Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda vehemently argued with the umpires, but the play stood. The Yankees eventually won, 4-3, in 10 innings and took home their second straight World Series crown.

Reggie’s hip deflects throw
Reggie’s hip deflects throw
Oct. 14th, 1978
1969 World Series Game 5: The shoe polish play
The “Miracle Mets” were trying to clinch their first championship, and they might have gotten some help in that quest. In the top of the sixth at Shea Stadium, home-plate umpire Lou DiMuro did not agree with the Orioles’ assertion that Jerry Koosman had hit Frank Robinson with a pitch. Robinson struck out, and the O’s did not extend their 3-0 lead. In the next half inning, Dave McNally threw a low and inside pitch to leadoff man Cleon Jones, who thought he’d been hit. Again, DiMuro disagreed. But then Mets manager Gil Hodges emerged from the dugout and showed the umpire the black-smudged ball — evidence, he said, that it hit Jones’ shoe.

DiMuro changed his mind, and Jones went to first. Donn Clendenon immediately hit a two-run homer that spurred a rally. The Mets won, 5-3, and completed their unlikely ascent.

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