The Playoff match ups are set. Baltimore continued their magical 2012 run by defeating the Texas Rangers 5-1, and the St. Louis Cardinals move on to defend their World Series Title after knocking out the Atlanta Braves 6-3.
But it was hardly that simple.
When Major League Baseball added a one game Wildcard game, some were concerned that having the results of an entire 162 games worth of work rest on the fluky-ness of one 9 inning stretch just didn't make much sense. Baseball seasons are a marathon and forcing two teams to decide their fates in such a small sample size, prone to any number of odd scenarios, just seemed so counter-intuitive. Leaving the chances of a World Series to a bad bounce or a bad call just felt like a bad idea and it certainly didn't take long for the worst nightmare of fans to come to fruition.
With two outs in the bottom of the 8th, the St. Louis Cardinals were holding on to a 6-3 lead over the Atlanta Braves. The Braves were mounting a rally and had two runners on when Andrelton Simmons hit a pop fly to shallow left. Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma and left fielder Matt Holiday seemed to have a miscommunication on the play and the ball dropped in-between them, loading the bases for Atlanta. Inexplicably, umpire Sam Holbrook had apparently made a very late infield fly rule call, on a ball that was well into shallow left, resulting in Simmons being out and the Braves ultimately failing to score.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez argued the call with the Umpires and a rowdy Turner Field crowd began showering the field with garbage, causing a lengthy delay. It was downright ugly.
The Braves would play the rest of the game under protest, but MLB would later rule the call was umpire discretion and the result would stand. Congrats, Cardinals.
So, DRaysBay, what say you? Was it an infield fly? Was it a bad call? Worst call, or worst call ever? Why were nearly all the bottles on the field Bud Light Platinum? DRAMA!
- In other news, The Rangers completed an epic tank job, losing the ALW Division crown and the Wildcard playoff game in back to back games. Josh Hamilton was booed in his likely final at bat with the Rangers after striking out on 3 pitches to end the 8th.
- MLB's official twitter feed no longer thinks joking about understanding the infield fly rule is funny.
- Umpire Sam Holbrook stood by the call in postgame statements.
- Here is the actual text of the infield fly rule.
- Finally, do you have a Rays-related question to ask the DRaysBay writing staff? Send us an email with the question to email@example.com. If your question is selected, the answer will appear in a weekly feature, starting soon.