Obstruction Call Ends Game 3
BY: Jeff Schneberk
In one of the weirdest endings to a World Series games ever, the St. Louis Cardinals prevented the Red Sox from a 3-run comeback, and won 5-4 in the bottom of the 9th inning.
St. Louis led the game 4-2 heading into the 8th inning, Boston did what they usually do, and that’s come back when trailing, Boston tied it at 4-4 heading into the bottom of the 9th and that’s when shit got crazy.
The Cardinals rushed to the plate to congratulate Allen Craig. The Red Sox stormed home to argue with the umpires.
The fans, well, they seemed too startled to know what to do. Who’d ever seen an obstruction call to end a World Series game?
Third base umpire Jim Joyce immediately signaled obstruction against Boston.
“With the defensive player on the ground, without intent or intent, it’s still obstruction,” Joyce said. “You’d probably have to ask Middlebrooks that one, if he could have done anything. But that’s not in our determination.”
In perhaps the wildest finish imaginable, the rare ruling against third baseman Will Middlebrooks allowed Craig to score with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning and lifted St. Louis over Boston 5-4 Saturday night for a 2-1 edge.
A walk-off win? More like a trip-off.
“I’m in shock right now,” St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina said.
So was most everyone at Busch Stadium after the mad-cap play.
“Tough way to have a game end, particularly of this significance,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said.
After an umpire’s call was the crux of Game 1 and a poor Boston throw to third base decided Game 2, the key play on this night combined both elements.
Molina singled with one out in the ninth off losing pitcher Brandon Workman. Craig, just back from a sprained foot, pinch-hit and lined Koji Uehara’s first pitch into left field for a double that put runners on second and third.
With the infield in, Jon Jay hit a grounder to diving second baseman Dustin Pedroia. He made a sensational stab and threw home to catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who tagged out the sliding Molina.
“I was excited at first because we nailed the guy at home. I wasn’t sure why he was called safe,” Middlebrooks said.
“We’re all running to home to see why he was called safe. We didn’t think there was any obstruction there, obviously. As I’m getting up, he trips over me. I don’t know what else to say.”
Said Cardinals slugger Matt Holliday: “You hate for it to end on a somewhat controversial play.”
“You would like for it to end a little cleaner, but that’s part of it,” he said.
Joyce and crew chief John Hirschbeck said they’d never seen a similar game-ending play.