WATCH: Cubs score winning run on overturned call
Following a video review, Albert Almora, Jr., was deemed to have been obstructed on what ended up being the winning play for the Cubs. (Photo Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports)
CHICAGO — The Chicago Cubs' 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies in the series finale at Wrigley Field on Thursday was accentuated by a play at the plate that brought the heavily debated rule regarding obstruction by catchers to the forefront.
While attempting to score from third base after tagging up on a fly ball, Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr., was ruled out by the home-plate umpire after being tagged by Phillies catcher Andrew Knapp without having first touched home plate.
Almora, Jr., and the Cubs argued the call, however, with Chicago manager Joe Maddon challenging the play. Replays of the incident confirmed that the Cubs were right to gripe, as Knapp intentionally positioned his leg in front of home plate to block Almora, Jr., from touching the base.
Sliding headfirst, Almora, Jr., reached for the plate but instead collided with Knapp's foot before Knapp received the throw from the left fielder. Under the former guidelines, Knapp likely would have been deemed to have been in the right for blocking home plate while in the process of fielding the throw. However, based upon the new guidelines, Knapp was ruled to have not given Almora, Jr., a clear path to the plate and was therefore obstructing.
The call was overturned, providing Almora, Jr., with a run and Anthony Rizzo, who hit the sacrifice fly, with an RBI. Almora, Jr.'s, run put Chicago ahead 4-1 and ultimately served as the winning play for the Cubs, who went on to win 4-3.
Maddon, a former catcher, has developed a knack for successfully challenging plays at the plate, and his challenge on Thursday ultimately provided the Cubs with a victory and a series win, as they took two out of three against the Phillies.