How Chase Utley Slide From 2015 NLDS Is Impacting Astros’ Bryan Abreu’s Suspension Appeal Hearing

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Major League Baseball suspended Houston Astros reliever Bryan Abreu for two games after deeming he intentionally threw at Texas Rangers All-Star Adolis García in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series last Friday.

Abreu appealed the suspension and was able to pitch in the Astros’ Game 6 loss at Minute Maid Park. The right-hander’s appeal hearing is scheduled to be heard on Monday, with a decision expected before first pitch of the win-or-go-home Game 7.

Abreu’s two-game ban was upheld by an arbitrator but delayed until the start of the 2024 season. Thus, he pitched in Game 7, which the Astros lost.

Per the collective bargaining agreement (CBA), postseason suspension appeals must be heard within 48 hours. However, that wasn’t always the process as MLB previously heard appeals for postseason suspensions within 14 days.

The current rule was adopted in 2017, roughly a year after former Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Chase Utley appealed a two-game suspension for his aggressive slide that fractured Rubén Tejada’s right fibula in Game 2 of the 2015 National League Division Series.

Utley was able to remain on the Dodgers roster for the rest of their postseason run and eventually had his suspension dropped during Spring Training of the following season.

MLB’s decision to suspend Abreu is curious as the Astros were trailing the Rangers by two runs when Abreu plunked García in the eighth inning of Game 5. That wouldn’t appear to be a set of circumstances with which Abreu would purposely throw at García, who believed it was retaliation for his home run earlier in the game.

Houston ended up rallying for a 5-4 win after Jose Altuve hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the ninth.

Chase Utley got revenge on Mets

After his controversial slide, Utley was booed mercilessly by Mets fans when the 2015 NLDS shifted to Citi Field, but he did not play in either of the two games.

Utley returned to New York the following year and hit a home run and grand slam in his first series back at the ballpark.

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