Umps issue statement on foul pole HR call

Al Bello - Getty Images

A hard-hit ball in the sixth inning of the deciding ALDS game between the Yankees and Orioles was reviewed and declared foul. The umpires told why after the game.

After the Yankees' 3-1 victory in Game 5 of the American League Division Series, the umpire released a statement on the controversial call of Nate McLouth's shot in the sixth inning.

Ruled by right-field umpire Fieldin Culbreth as a foul ball at the time, Orioles manager Buck Showalter asked for a review of the call, which was upheld. Replays on the TBS broadcast seemed to enforce the notion that it was hard to tell whether or not the ball hit the foul pole. But TBS sideline reporter Craig Sager went out to the stands where an usher told him it had hit the pole.

This is what Culbreth said in a statement:

"I saw it go to the right of the pole. There is netting and it didn't touch the netting. It did not change direction (indicating it grazed the pole)."

And crew chief Brian Gorman also issued a statement, saying: "We saw the same thing on the replay. There was no evidence to overturn the decision."

I personally think Gorman's statement got to the heart of it, but I'm sure Orioles fans disagree. It was a crucial moment in the game and it's impossible to know whether it would have changed the outcome entirely since the Yankees won by two runs.

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