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There was another controversial home plate call in the playoffs

In Sunday’s Say Hey, Baseball, we look at another controversial home plate call, a ball that got stuck in a wall, and the second anniversary of The Bat Flip.

League Championship Series - Chicago Cubs v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game One Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Sometimes you can recognize history when you're in the middle of it. And this year, we may just be in the middle of the playoffs of the controversial home plate call. Just a few days ago, the Cubs advanced to the NLCS essentially thanks to a blown call at the plate. And on Saturday night, they got to experience the other side of a controversial home plate call that lost them a game.

In the seventh inning, which had already featured a Yasiel Puig solo home run to put the Dodgers up 4-2, Justin Turner hit a sharp grounder up the third base line, and Charlie Culberson tried to score from second base. Kyle Schwarber threw a bullet from shallow left field that was caught directly by catcher Willson Contreras. Culberson was coming into home plate just as the ball came in. And here's where we get the controversy: Just before Contreras received the ball, he put his left leg directly over the plate. Culberson no longer had a clear path to the bag. Luckily for Contreras, Culberson tried to tag with his hand and he didn't slide into home with his feet toward the bag, so his plate-blocking leg stayed intact.

The initial call was out, and technically, that's what happened. Contreras' leg was blocking the plate and Culberson couldn't tag. But the Dodgers challenged immediately — Dave Roberts was out of the dugout demanding a replay review before anyone on his coaching staff had even gotten off the phone. And it was a worthy challenge. The decision took a while to come in, but the call was safe. Writers at the game received an email explaining the genesis of the decision, which was indeed the home plate collision rule: Contreras didn't have possession of the ball when he blocked the plate.

Of course, this sparked more discussion about the home plate rule. The rule exists for a reason — to protect catchers from concussions and other collision related injuries — but the argument is that it's spottily enforced. Though some went farther than that. TBS color commentator Ron Darling spent a ridiculous amount of time complaining that it's a bad rule, and it dulls the athleticism of baseball. Of course, the "athleticism" he's talking about involves catchers getting the stuffing knocked out of them by runners. The rule definitely needs to exist, but it should absolutely be enforced more consistently. But in this case, it was pretty cut-and-dried: Willson Contreras blocked the plate and prevented Culberson from scoring. It was a clear case of obstruction, but maybe this time the protests of Joe Maddon (who was ejected for arguing the call) and scores of angry Cubs fans will inspire MLB and the umpires to clarify the rule a bit more.