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On Thursday night, the National League Wild Card race took a turn for the controversial after a dramatic ending in St. Louis resulted in what could be a season-saving victory for the Cardinals. In the bottom of the ninth inning with the game tied at three against the Reds, Cardinals hero Yadier Molina hit a looping liner into left field. As Matt Carpenter raced around the basepaths, the ball bounced over the fence for what should’ve been a ground-rule double. Instead, nothing was called, and Carpenter beat a delayed throw home to walk it off for the Cardinals.
The ball very clearly hit the outfield signage in left field, which is out of play at Busch Stadium. The Reds stayed on the field immediately afterwards as Reds manager Bryan Price was forced to try to chase the umpires down, who had left the field once Carpenter scored the run. As a result, the Reds were unable to call for a replay and the game ended 4-3 in favor of St. Louis. So, why weren’t the Reds allowed to challenge the obviously wrong call? Apparently, Price wasn’t fast enough in calling for the challenge, so he and the Reds were out of luck.
Of course, if you’re supporting the Mets or Giants then you’re probably livid right now. The Cardinals are still on the outside looking in, but they’re now only one game out of the second NL Wild Card spot. There’s no telling what would have happened had the game in St. Louis gone to extras, but it’s much better to decide it on the field instead of having a wonky replay decision help a team win and have a major impact on a postseason race. New York and San Francisco may hold on to their spots and play in the Wild Card game, but if St. Louis makes it in then this will end up being one of the most important plays of the 2016 season.
- This would probably be an even bigger story had the Giants lost last night. They won, so they’re still ahead of the Cardinals for now.
- The crew at Amazin' Avenue tried to answer the question that’s on everybody’s mind: What happens if there’s a three-way tie in the Wild Card?
- The Tigers had their game with Cleveland rained out. As a result, their schedule could get absolutely crazy in the next week.
- Detroit will have to travel to Atlanta for a three-game series this weekend. With the way the Braves have been playing lately, that is no ‘gimme’ for the Tigers.
- Freddie Freeman won’t be going into that series on a streak of any kind, as both his 30-game hit streak and 46-game on-base streak ended last night.
- Ubaldo Jimenez and the Orioles completely befuddled the Blue Jays on Thursday night, and have moved into a tie atop the AL Wild Card standings.
- Meanwhile, the Blue Jays' clubhouse is starting to get a little tense. This isn’t exactly the ideal time for something like this to happen.
- The Mariners can’t afford to lose any more games, so they’ve decided to just keep on winning.
- It’s happened again — a super-confident fan of a title contender has gotten a tattoo celebrating a title that hasn’t been won yet. Surely this won’t go wrong!
- Speaking of the Cubs: Since their six-inning rainout against the Pirates had no bearing on the playoff race, it was ruled as a tie. September baseball, everyone!