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Braves-Cardinals Game Gets Dicey

Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

The Atlanta Braves lost a controversial call that determined the outcome of a 6-3 defeat at the hands of the visiting St. Louis Cardinals, which prompted a 15-minute delay in which a heard of unruly fans started throwing junk onto the field.

The controversial call came in the eighth inning when a pop fly fell between shortstop Pete Kozma and left fielder Matt Holiday.  However, just a half-second before the ball landed, the left field umpire called an infield fly — one that was designated too late of a call by most MLB pundits.

The call made up the second out of the inning, and hampered what would have been a one-out, bases-loaded rally.  According to the official MLB Rules, an infield fly rule consists of:

“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.”

Altanta’s Chipper Jones had a chance to sound off on the play.

“You never want to see something get violent like that,” said Jones.  “But when you’ve got (what is essentially) a GAme 7 and your whole season is on the line … things like that are going to happen.”

Atlanta protested the decision during the game, but it didn’t amount to anything.  The MLB had a moment to comment on the incident after the game:

“The infield fly is in no sense to be considered an appeal play.  The umpire’s judgement must govern, and the decision should be made immediately.”

While it may have been a judgement call, it definitely was the wrong one with vast consequences.  Kozma traveled a good 30 feet back into the outfield, making the infield fly rule not apply.

After the 15-minute delay to clean the debris off the field, St. Louis’ catcher Jason Motte struck out to end the eighth-inning rally.

The disputed call drastically impacted the outcome of the game.  With the bases loaded and one out, there would have definitely been a completely different mindset in a game where they only trailed by three runs.  Now, the Cardinals will advance to the NLDS to face the Washington Nationals, leaving the Braves in their dust.

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