Braves Lose To The Cardinals In A Crazy Controversial Wild Card Game

Posted: October 5, 2012 in Sports
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Tonight the St. Louis Cardinals (88-74) defeated the Atlanta Braves (94-68) 6-3 in the first of two 1-Game Playoff games that will kickoff the 2012 MLB Playoff Season. The win sends the Cards to DC to play the Washington Nationals in the next round. The loss sends the Braves home. Let me first vent that how after playing 162 games, Major League Baseball feels compelled to ask a team with 6 more wins then another team to play that team in a one-game winner take all playoff game is crazy. But that is not the subject of this article.

The Atlanta Braves were losing in the 8th inning 6-3. Runners were on first and second. There was one out. Andrelton Simmons of the Atlanta Braves hit a pop up to shallow left. Two Cardinals fielders got their signals crossed and the ball dropped in between them for what would appeared to be a single. The Atlanta Braves crowd went crazy because they believed that they had the bases loaded with only one out. But left umpire Sam Holbrook called Simmons out under the infield fly rule. The crowd went crazy again but this time they were pissed. After watching the play again, it appears the Braves fans had a great reason to be angry.

(Video of the Play) – Link: defines an Infield Fly as this: An INFIELD FLY is a fair fly ball (not including a line drive nor an attempted bunt) which can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort, when first and second, or first, second and third bases are occupied, before two are 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.
When it seems apparent that a batted ball will be an Infield Fly, the umpire shall immediately declare “Infield Fly” for the benefit of the runners. If the ball is near the baselines, the umpire shall declare “Infield Fly, if Fair.” ( )

Once you watch the play you will see two things that will tell you that this was not an infield fly. The term “ordinary effort” would not be how I would have described the Cardinals infielder running (about 20 paces) and then back peddling to get into position to catch the ball. Whenever the infielder and the outfielder are that close to each other and the outfielder is playing in his normal position, the infielder definitely had to use more than just an ordinary effort to get there. The second thing is if you play the tape at the 1:43 mark, you will notice how long it takes for the left umpire to declare the ball an infield fly. The rules states that the umpire should immediately declare an infield fly when such a case occurs. The ball in this case was almost to the ground before the umpire raises his hand. Perhaps he was a replacement umpire.

It is definitely going to be a tough night for the Atlanta Braves and their fans. This play if called correctly might have brought them back in the game. But the Braves can blame more than a blown call for their loss tonight. The 3 errors they had certainly didn’t help. Hopefully, the 2012 MLB Playoffs will go on without such a controversial play as this. Baseball can’t afford another scene like what happened at Turner Field tonight.

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