Cardinals’ Playoff Hopes Rescued by Controversial Reds Non-Challenge on Walk-Off RBI Double (Video)
Whatever you think about each league having two wild card teams, you have to admit it makes things a lot more interesting down the stretch.
On Wednesday a dramatic home run by Baltimore’s Hyun-soo Kim made a significant impact on the American League wild card race. On Thursday a controversial non-challenge on a walk-off double by St. Louis’ Yadier Molina made a significant impact on the National League wild care race.
The Cardinals were in desperate need of a win over the Reds on Thursday night. If they lost and the Giants won, they’d fall two games back of the final wild card spot.
The Cardinals had a 3-2 lead heading into the top of the ninth, but they allowed the Reds to tie it up. In the bottom of the ninth, Matt Carpenter reached on a walk. Then, with two outs, Yadier Molina drilled the ball into the corner, and Carpenter came in to score.
However? However! The ball landed on the warning track, bounced up, and hit the advertisements above the left field wall. According to the Busch Stadium ground rules, the signage above the left field wall is not in play. Thus, the hit should have been declared a ground rule double. Which means instead of the Cardinals walking away right then and there with a 4-3 win, it should have been runners on second and third with two outs for Stephen Piscotty.
Take a look:
After the game, the umpires admitted that, had the play been reviewed, the call on the field would have been overturned.
Umpire Bill Miller: “We did look at it. It appears that the ball hit above the fence. And hit the signage above the left-field fence.”
— C. Trent Rosecrans (@ctrent) September 30, 2016
So why was the play not reviewed? The umpires could have decided to review it themselves. But they didn’t do that. Instead, they decided to leave it to the Reds to challenge. Unfortunately, according to MLB rules, challenges at the end of games must be “immediate.” And Reds manager Bryan Price did not challenge the ruling immediately. So the umpires left, making the game official.
— Derrick Goold (@dgoold) September 30, 2016
— Jose de Jesus Ortiz (@OrtizKicks) September 30, 2016
After the game, Bryan Price said they normally wait for the guys in the video room to call before they challenge a play, but they couldn’t hear the phone ring because of the crowd. He also implied that the umpires didn’t give them enough time:
Of course, it wouldn’t kill MLB to loosen the rules, or for umpires to be a little more liberal in their interpretation of “immediate.” But the fact is, on a play that ends the game, you do not need to wait for the guys in the video room to call. In fact, you shouldn’t wait, because you have absolutely nothing to lose by challenging immediately. Price could have avoided the controversy if he hadn’t waited to hear from the video guys.
You gotta love September baseball.
Hat Tip – [CBS Sports]