|10.27.13 at 1:36 am ET|
ST. LOUIS — The World Series umpiring crew offered its explanation of what may become one of the most controversial rulings in baseball history. Crew chief John Hirschbeck, third base umpire Jim Joyce (who made the obstruction ruling that ended up resulting in Allen Craig being awarded home plate for the 5-4 Cardinals walkoff victory in the bottom of the ninth) and home plate ump Dana DeMuth, along with MLB executive vice president of baseball operations Joe Torre, addressed the media following the game.
First, the obstruction rule as defined:
Obstruction is the act of a fielder who, while not in possession of the ball and not in the act of fielding the ball, impedes the progress of any runner.
Rule 2.00 (Obstruction) Comment: If a fielder is about to receive a thrown ball and if the ball is in flight directly toward and near enough to the fielder so he must occupy his position to receive the ball he may be considered “in the act of fielding a ball.” It is entirely up to the judgment of the umpire as to whether a fielder is in the act of fielding a ball. After a fielder has made an attempt to field a ball and missed, he can no longer be in the “act of fielding” the ball. For example: an infielder dives at a ground ball and the ball passes him and he continues to lie on the ground and delays the progress of the runner, he very likely has obstructed the runner.
Some highlights of the press conference — which featured Hirschbeck proclaiming the ruling a “great call” by Joyce:
HIRSCHBECK WITH AN EXPLANATION OF THE OBSTRUCTION RULE Read the rest of this entry »
|10.27.13 at 12:51 am ET|
ST. LOUIS — Starter Jake Peavy was among the many incensed members of the Red Sox after his team suffered a 5-4 walk-off loss in Game 3 of the World Series when the umpiring crew ruled that third baseman Will Middlebrooks obstructed Allen Craig on Jarrod Saltalamacchia‘s errant throw, the result of which was Craig — who was beaten to the plate by a throw from left fielder Daniel Nava — being given the plate with the first-ever obstruction walk-off in World Series history.
“I’m beat beyond words. I don’t know what to say. I think it’s absolutely a crying shame that a call like that is going to decide a World Series game. It’s a joke. There’s no other way to say it. It’s a joke that call decides a World Series game that two teams are absolutely pouring their heart out on the field. There’s just no other way to say it. That’s the way I feel,” said Peavy. “It’s a joke. It’s a joke. I don’t know how [third base ump Jim Joyce is] going to lay his head down tonight. I don’t know. When you watch how hard these teams are playing in the World Series and what it takes to get here, what it takes to do what we did climbing back, it’s just amazing to me that it would end on a call like that that’s not black and white. I just don’t know what else to say.”
Peavy said the outcome was particularly disappointing given the intensity of the game as it unfolded, and the way in which the Red Sox twice erased two-run deficits.
“You have two great, great baseball teams playing out there and you had such a great game tonight. This was a phenomenal game tonight all the way down to the final play. Guys just absolutely pouring their heart out,” said Peavy. “For it to end on a call like that, I don’t know how anybody can say, ‘Yeah, that’s the way it should have ended.’ Go find me one person who’s OK with that call other than Cardinals fans because their team won the game. That’s not OK.”
|10.27.13 at 12:10 am ET|
ST. LOUIS — A classic World Series game that featured shifting tides throughout the late innings was ultimately settled in a fashion that will feature the imprint of what will be a long-debated decision on the part of the umpiring crew and a controversial set of decisions by Red Sox manager John Farrell.
The Cardinals rallied for the game-winning run against Sox closer Koji Uehara in the bottom of the ninth, claiming a 5-4 walk-off victory that put St. Louis up 2-1 in the best-of-seven Fall Classic.
The final run scored in dizzying fashion: After a Yadier Molina single against Brandon Workman and a double by Allen Craig to put runners on second and third with one out, Dustin Pedroia made a diving play on a Jon Jay smash and fired home to clip Molina for the second out. Jarrod Saltalamacchia then unleashed a stray throw to third that trickled away from Will Middlebrooks, with Craig racing home.
Craig was beaten by the throw to the plate, but the third base umpire had ruled that Middlebrooks obstructed Craig when the runner got entangled with the third baseman after his diving attempt to catch the ball, thus entitling Craig to the plate for the game-winning run (when the umpiring crew determined that Craig would have scored if unimpeded).
That decisive play followed a puzzling decision by Farrell to let Workman hit for himself in the top of the ninth inning, only to turn to Uehara in the bottom of the ninth when a runner reached base.
Why didn’t Farrell pinch-hit for Workman with Mike Napoli? Why didn’t he turn to Uehara to open the ninth if he was going to be so quick to turn to him? Those riddles could haunt the Sox for some time, in a series they now trail, with a huge Game 4 looming in which the Sox must rely on Clay Buchholz to summon enough to give them an opportunity to win.
The Sox now have an uphill climb against the odds in their pursuit of a title. The team that won Game 3 in a World Series that was tied, 1-1, after two contests has gone on to claim a title 67.3 percent of the time.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX
– Stephen Drew‘s horrific postseason performance continued, with the shortstop going 0-for-2 with two strikeouts. He’s now 4-for-44 with 17 strikeouts and one walk this postseason, with his line now at .091/.111/.136. He was replaced in the seventh inning by pinch-hitter Middlebrooks, who popped up the first pitch he saw from left-handed reliever Kevin Siegrist.
|10.26.13 at 9:13 pm ET|
WEEI sent the whole gang to St. Louis for Games 3, 4 and 5, and they’ll be taking photos throughout their stay. To see all our photos from Saturday, click here.
|10.26.13 at 8:47 pm ET|
ST. LOUIS — Prior to Saturday’s game, Red Sox manager John Farrell sang the praises of his first baseman, Mike Napoli, suggesting his disappointment that his remarkable progress as a first baseman was not recognized with nomination for a Gold Glove at the position. Of course, that praise was offered on a night when Napoli is not in the lineup at first base, a byproduct of the fact that David Ortiz is playing the position with the series now in Busch Stadium, the home of the National League Cardinals, a venue in which there is no designated hitter.
As such, it was intriguing to note the onset of something of an experiment. Napoli took grounders at third during batting practice.
Farrell told Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports (as relayed on twitter) that the possibility of having Napoli play third base this series was “being thought of.”
Napoli played just three professional games at third in his career — one in Single-A Cedar Rapids in 2002, and two more in High-A Rancho Cucamonga in 2004. But with the Red Sox getting limited production from the left side of their infield (Stephen Drew is 4-for-42 this postseason; Xander Bogaerts is 0-for-6 with four strikeouts and a sac fly in seven World Series plate appearances), and Napoli having been one of the foremost offensive weapons for the Sox during the ALCS and World Series, the idea of revisiting his career as a third baseman evidently received impetus.
|10.26.13 at 7:21 pm ET|
It’s all tied up, 1-1, in the World Series as the match between the Red Sox and Cardinals shifts to St. Louis. The winner of Game 3 in a 1-1 series has gone on to win the World Series 67.3 percent of the time, including each of the last four times that there’s been a 1-1 tie and in 11 of the last 12 dating to 1980. In short, this very well can be a pivotal game.
Get all the latest news, analysis and updates about the game from Busch Stadium, where WEEI and WEEI.com (and friends) are on the scene. Join the live blog below:
|10.26.13 at 5:26 pm ET|
ST. LOUIS — At a time when the health of Clay Buchholz is in some question as he prepares for a Game 4 start in the World Series, and when Jake Peavy is lined up for starts in Games 3 and 7, one thought that had not been broached publicly was that of having Jon Lester work on three days’ rest, with starts in Game 4 and, potentially, in Game 7. Back in 2009, the Sox were prepared to have Lester work on three days’ rest in the American League Division Series against the Angels, but a three-game sweep prevented that outcome from materializing. Lester had a solid start on the final day of the 2011 regular season on short rest, permitting two runs over six innings against the Orioles.
The Sox did have some internal dialogue on the matter, but concluded that Lester on short rest was not in the team’s best interest based on what they’ve seen from the pitcher based on his usage patters. When pitching on four days of rest during the regular season, Lester was 8-6 with a 4.24 ERA in 18 starts. On five days of rest, he was 5-2 with a 2.91 ERA. (He went 2-0 with a 4.41 ERA in three starts on six or more days of rest.)
“There was some conversation, but I think that history shows that that’s not, that has not been successful,” manager John Farrell said of starting pitchers in the postseason on three days’ rest. “From a broader perspective on Lester, the last seven, eight weeks of the season, he pitched on [five] days’ rest the entire time. He went on [four] days’ rest against Detroit [in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series]. [He had] a little bit different stuff. It was noticeable. I recognize we’re in the World Series, I recognize the time of year, but I would rather have Jon Lester at full strength or with normal rest than at three days of rest.”
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