posted on October 05, 2012 21:35
The Call, The Game, And The NLDS
“An infield fly is a fair fly ball (not including a line drive nor an attempted bunt) which can caught by an infielder with ordinary effort, when first and second, or first, second and third bases are occupied, before two out. The pitcher, catcher and any outfielder who stations himself in the infield on the play shall be considered infielders for the purpose of this rule.”
To the vast majority of Cardinal fans’ credit, the people who have tweeted at me/emailed me acknowledge it was a dreadful call.
I’m not saying this to be flippant, but I do think it’s relevant that even Rick Horton on the Cardinal postgame show said it was a poor call.
Had left field umpire Sam Holbrook called infield fly immediately---which would’ve been rather odd---it would’ve been “better,” or perhaps I should say less bad. But, considering he waited to make the call when he did, it was a botched call.
I’m a Cardinal fan, but principle doesn’t wear team colors. If this call were made against the Cardinals, I’d be furious. Therefore, I understand Braves’ fans being pissed off.
As far as chastising them for throwing shit on the field and getting on the “This would never happen in St. Louis” holier than though pulpit, I’m not interested.
First off, I don’t care. Second, there’s this holier than thou condemnation of Braves’ fans by some Cardinal fans saying, “That would never happen in St. Louis.”
Well, it did.
In 1998, Mark McGwire was ejected from a game when he was in the midst of chasing Roger Maris’ record.
Cardinal fans delayed the game 10 minutes by throwing debris on the field.
The team they were playing?
The umpire who ejected him?
Holbrook wasn’t the reason for the Braves’ loss. They choked in the field. They choked with runners in scoring position. They choked last year. They choked this year.
They got banged in the 8th inning.
I loathe 2012 politics, because so rarely do you have a Democrat or Republican break rank and call it how he sees it. The same principle applies to sports. I’m a Cardinal fan, but the Braves got fucked.
Would it have mattered?
Well, we’ll never know. They would’ve had bases loaded with one out…but keep in mind, they were still down three runs, so it’s not like had it been called properly it guaranteed a tie game or even a run. But, once again, if that happened to the Cardinals, I would’ve been furious.
With that out there, it wasn’t the only crap that went on with the umpires.
David Ross called a timeout a split second before Kyle Lohse delivered a pitch that he swung and missed at. As Mike Matheny said, it was the right call. It was shitty by Ross, but he has the right to call for timeout, and the umpire has the right to grant it. Lohse hadn’t started his delivery. Absolutely sucked. But, it was the right call.
The wrong call was made in the 9th inning with Chipper Jones. This is one that went against the Cardinals, and it came damn close to mattering. Allen Craig got his foot on the bag before Jones got to first. He didn’t the first time. He did with his second effort. Now, I understand that if the umpire ended Chipper Jones’ career on a borderline call after all that happened in the 8th inning, he may have never made it out of the ballpark. But, after Jones’ “hit,” Freddie Freeman doubled to bring the tying run to the plate. That was almost another disaster.
Instant replay couldn’t have fixed the first two calls---as the first one unfortunately was the right call---but it could’ve on the third one in the 9th inning with Chipper Jones.
Fortunately, it didn’t wind up mattering, and the Cardinals advanced to the NLDS for the third time in four years with a bizarre 6-3 victory.
I know it will all be forgotten by the Infield Fly Rule discussion, but I want to make sure that other aspects of the game are addressed. Kyle Lohse was nails. I was worried about him in the playoffs after last year’s postseason performances, but he carried over the 2012 regular season into the playoffs.
Kris Medlen also was outstanding. He allowed just three hits in 6.1 IP…and only two earned runs. Medlen was victimized by the batshittery that was the Braves’ homage to the 2006 Tigers.
Matt Holliday delivered with a 2-3 night and a home run. But, I would like to see Matt Holliday take charge in the outfield. This continues to happen. Unless something changed that I’m not aware of, the outfielder’s calling for a fly ball supersedes an infielder’s calling for a ball. This happened in Game 6 of the World Series last year with Rafael Furcal and Holliday…and the ball dropped.
On Kozma’s end, he almost screwed up earlier in the game with an odd call-off of Jon Jay.
The Cardinal outfielders as a whole need to be more in charge on coming after fly balls. They got bailed out in Atlanta. You’d hate to be a Braves’ fan and sitting there thinking that if it weren’t for fundamental defense, you could be in the NLDS. Well, in the case of the Cardinals, you don’t want to miss a shot to defend your World Championship because of fundamental defense. It’s basic, and it could and should be addressed and fixed.
Now…it’s on to the next one.
The Washington Nationals head to St. Louis to take on Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals.
If you weren’t feeling the playoff vibe with this one-game deal, my guess is you will Sunday afternoon when the NLDS gets underway.
I put the Braves as a 60% favorite to win this game, so I’m quite happy I was wrong. I couldn’t have foreseen them shitting the bed and throwing the ball all over the field, but I’m happy it happened. Personally, and I hope I don’t jinx it, but I like the Cardinals against the Nationals. If they wouldn’t have dicked around with Stephen Strasburg, I’d feel differently, but at this moment, the Cardinal rotation is better than the Nationals’.
Last year, I wished for a Cardinals-Brewers’ NLCS, so the Cardinals could vanquish the nitwit platoon player whose name I can’t remember anymore. I think I only remember guys who hit above .240.
I was pulling for the Brewers last year against the Diamondbacks, and therefore I’ll be pulling for the Reds this year. A Cardinals-Reds’ NLCS would be the tits…and the only thing that would be better would be a Cardinals-Yankees’ World Series.
Right now…both are possible, and that’s all you can ask for considering the do-or-die nature of Friday night.
They ended the Kris Medlen streak. The extended their winning streak in elimination games to five. And, they extended their season.
I don’t think too many of the remaining teams in the playoffs wanted to see the team that “just…won’t…go…away” just not go away again. They’re dangerous. They’re confident. And…they’re back.
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