Blog Entry

Bad call? Yes. Reason for Rangers loss? No

Posted on: October 23, 2011 1:44 am
Edited on: October 23, 2011 4:03 am

By Matt Snyder

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Other than the rightful praise of Albert Pujols and the Cardinals offense after a 16-7 shellacking of the Rangers in Game 3 of the World Series, the story gaining the most traction among fans is the blown call by umpire Ron Kulpa in the top of the fourth inning. Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday hit a routine double-play ball, but Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler made an errant throw to first base. Rangers first baseman Mike Napoli made the catch and a swipe tag.

“We ran into each other, I don’t know whether he tagged me or not," Holliday said afterward. "I didn’t watch it. All I know is we ran into each other and I ended up on the ground, so I don’t know.”

Replays showed Napoli clearly tagged Holliday, but Kulpa called him safe. He even admitted the mistake after the game.

"I saw a replay when I walked off the field, and the tag was applied before his foot hit the bag," he said.

World Series, Game 3
Had the correct call been made, the Cardinals would have had two outs with no one on base. Instead, the floodgates were opened and the Rangers would never recover -- even if they tried with two big innings.

"He looked like he tagged him before he reached the base from my point of view," Rangers pitcher Matt Harrison said. "I wasn’t sure until I saw the replay. He was out, but he called him safe and I just had to move on."

Only the entire complexion of the game had been changed. Harrison and the Rangers' defense melted down. It was 5-0 before the inning ended. Sure, the final score was 16-7, but what if the Rangers got the correct call and escaped the inning down 1-0? And then took a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth? That's a completely different game.

“I don’t think it did (harm the Rangers) psychologically, no, but the game could have turned out differently," Harrison said.  "That’s four runs that inning, so if he woulda called him out there they may or may not have scored that inning.”

"You gotta move past that," Napoli said. "We had a chance to get out of the inning, but we didn't make the plays we had to."

Napoli himself was among the culprits. It was just 2-0 when Napoli made a terrible throw to home, letting in two more runs before Harrison coughed up an RBI single to Ryan Theriot, completing the scoring for the inning. And it was Harrison who gave up a single and double following the botched call. And don't forget that the bad call was only made possible by Ian Kinsler's bad throw. If he makes a good throw, the call is an easy out. So that inning was the Rangers' fault.

"We had more chances after that," Napoli added. "We came back and scored three runs that inning. We had more chances after that, too."

"We didn't lose because of the call."

And he's right. Even if you take that four-run inning off the board, the Rangers were outscored 12-7 in Game 3. We can talk about momentum or shifts in psyche or anything else fictional and hypothetical if you want. It simply has no factual basis and, thus, no relevance.

The bottom line is that two things beat the Rangers Saturday night: The Rangers and the Cardinals. Blaming one call is a very convenient excuse and ignores the bad defense and pitching, not to mention the Cardinals' offensive explosion. Give Napoli credit for being accountable and refusing to blame the entire game on one call in the fourth inning. One call doesn't cost a team a game in which they lost by nine.

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Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: October 23, 2011 12:48 pm

Bad call? Yes. Reason for Rangers loss? No

WHY would anyone PITCH to Pujols FIVE times in a game ???

Wash did...that's 5 errors on him, not including playing an obviously crippled Hamilton in CF and hitting him 3rd. Thats a four more mistakes than the umpire made, a few more than the Rangers defense made, and arguably, almost as many mistakes as Rangers pitching made. 

Wash needs to spend a little less time running that mouse treadmill in the dugout and a little more time running the game.     

It was a team effort. Giving up 7 runs doesn't exactly speak to overwhelming pitching by the Cardinals, but the Rangers had one of the worst home pitching performances ever, in a game that wasn't defended by the players, or the manager, very well.   

Since: Mar 22, 2011
Posted on: October 23, 2011 10:54 am

Bad call? Yes. Reason for Rangers loss? No

While this missed call was not the only reason we lost, it certainly changed the entire dyanmic of the game.  No one can afford to give an EXTRA out to STL or the Rangers, and that's what this chump did.

Same thing with Beltre in Game 1 - Replay showed it clearly hit his leg, which is why he didn't even run to 1st base.  These umps have been an absolute JOKE but as my man Ron Washington says, "That's the way baseball go"

Since: Oct 1, 2006
Posted on: October 23, 2011 10:54 am

Bad call? Yes. Reason for Rangers loss? No

Did it impact the final results?  No.  Was it perhaps the worst call in the history of the world series?  YES....On the biggest stage at the highest level of competition The ump is allowed to suck.... That umpire should not be on the field for game 4.  He blew it and MLb can not take a chance on him making another terrible call.

Since: Jan 16, 2011
Posted on: October 23, 2011 10:51 am

Bad call? Yes. Reason for Rangers loss? No

It's because umpires want to make the spectacular call rather than the right one.

Since: Jan 7, 2007
Posted on: October 23, 2011 10:02 am

Bad call? Yes. Reason for Rangers loss? No

The bad call started a change reaction that caused this result. It's kinda like getting punched in the face then realizing a herd of zombies are after you.

Since: Mar 25, 2011
Posted on: October 23, 2011 9:27 am

Bad call? Yes. Reason for Rangers loss? No

Year after year baseball proves that it needs some form of instant reply. 

Since: Sep 21, 2006
Posted on: October 23, 2011 8:05 am

Bad call? Yes. Reason for Rangers loss? No

I'm glad that the game ended in a blowout, because the call was atrocious, and it forced the Rangers to tap their bullpen sooner than they would have chosen. And props for the Rangers being stand-up about it --it's no excuse for Ian Kinsler's wide throw to first on a routine pivot and all of the other Keystone Kops defensive play.

Also, Ron Washington was forced to show St. Louis more of his bullpen than he would have liked to have done, so he's losing the advantage of unfamiliarity that goes hand in hand with interleague encounters, at least in the beginning. On top of that, there are two more games to be played before a day off, so if he has to tap it hard again tonite, well, you complete the thought.

The whole thing kind of leaves a sour taste, but again at least the laugher of a result, to say nothing of Albert Pujols' historic showing, make it easier to choke down.

And just to be clear, I'm rooting for the Cardinals all the way.

Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: October 23, 2011 7:27 am

Bad call? Yes. Reason for Rangers loss? No

Yeah, but like you say, changed the complexion of the game.  Likely the starting pitcher doesn't go out, etc.  Quite simply, an ump at that level of the game (qualifying to ump a WS game) simply cannot make that bad of a call.  And why not go to the home plate ump or the right field ump and see if they saw anything differently?  Maybe they did, I just saw the replay of the missed call, not what happened afterwards.

Since: Oct 12, 2006
Posted on: October 23, 2011 5:55 am

Bad call? Yes. Reason for Rangers loss? No

Maybe so, but they still need instant replay to fix the bs of certain bad calls. Get it right. The game takes hours to play, there aren't but a couple/few calls in any given game that really need review anyway. The NFL is a bit too much to review every score, but the really close calls, they need to get the call right. Balls & strikes, no instant replay, tags like this definitely need review, same holds with in the neighborhood force outs on DP's. How many does a tv audience get to see before it's obvious instant replay needs to happen.

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