5:07 PM ET, October 5, 2012
Turner Field, Atlanta, Georgia
Cards advance to NLDS after disputed call; Braves' protest denied
ATLANTA -- Talk about a wild card.This one was just plain wild.Chipper Jones played his final game. The Atlanta fans turned Turner Field into a trash heap after a disputed infield fly call. And the St. Louis Cardinals did what they always seem to do in October.They celebrated another postseason triumph.
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All we'll remember from what should have been a magical, historic night is the interpretation of the infield fly rule. Pretty sure that's not what was intended, Jayson Stark writes. Story
The first wild-card matchup in major league history lived up to its name, with the Braves and the umpires fumbling their way to a loss in a truly insane game, writes David Schoenfield. Blog
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Members of the Braves' grounds crew pick up bottles and cans thrown on the field by upset fans after a controversial infield fly call in the eighth inning went in favor of the Cardinals during the NL wild-card game Friday.
The Infield Fly Rule
The Infield Fly Rule, as stated in Major League Baseball's rule book, under Rule 2.00 -- Definitions:
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. The pitcher, catcher and any outfielder who stations himself in the infield on the play shall be considered infielders for the purpose of this rule.
When it seems apparent that a batted ball will be an Infield Fly, the umpire shall immediately declare "Infield Fly" for the benefit of the runners. If the ball is near the baselines, the umpire shall declare "Infield Fly, if Fair."
The ball is alive and runners may advance at the risk of the ball being caught, or retouch and advance after the ball is touched, the same as on any fly ball. If the hit becomes a foul ball, it is treated the same as any foul.
If a declared Infield Fly is allowed to fall untouched to the ground, and bounces foul before passing first or third base, it is a foul ball. If a declared Infield Fly falls untouched to the ground outside the baseline, and bounces fair before passing first or third base, it is an Infield Fly.
Rule 2.00 (Infield Fly) Comment: On the infield fly rule the umpire is to rule whether the ball could ordinarily have been handled by an infielder -- not by some arbitrary limitation such as the grass, or the base lines. The umpire must rule also that a ball is an infield fly, even if handled by an outfielder, if, in the umpire's judgment, the ball could have been as easily handled by an infielder. The infield fly is in no sense to be considered an appeal play. The umpire's judgment must govern, and the decision should be made immediately.
When an infield fly rule is called, runners may advance at their own risk. If on an infield fly rule, the infielder intentionally drops a fair ball, the ball remains in play despite the provisions of Rule 6.05(l). The infield fly rule takes precedence.
Braves At Loss For Words
The Braves allowed four unearned runs in Friday's wild-card loss to the Cardinals, the second-most ever yielded in a winner-take-all postseason game. Here's a look at where they rank:
|7||Red Sox (ALCS)|
|-- All three teams lost|
-- ESPN Stats & Information
SportsNation: Controversial infield fly call
A controversial 8th-inning infield fly call led to a 19-minute delay and a protest in Atlanta. What did you think of the call?
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The Braves outhit the Cardinals 12-6 but left 10 runners on base. St. Louis left only two runners aboard. ... For the first time, the teams wore special patches on their caps commemorating the playoffs. In the past, those were only worn during the World Series. ... Lohse (16-3) and Medlen had a combined record of 26-4 during the regular season. The cumulative win percentage of .867 was the highest ever for opposing postseason starters, edging the .850 mark of California's John Candelaria (10-2) and Boston's Roger Clemens (24-4) in the 1986 AL Championship Series.Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 5: Chipper Jones #10 of the Atlanta Braves breaks his bat hitting for a single in his last...(Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
|2nd||D Ross homered to left center (416 feet), D Uggla scored.||0||2|
|4th||A Craig doubled to deep left, C Beltran scored, M Holliday to third.||1||2|
|4th||Y Molina grounded out to second, M Holliday scored, A Craig to third.||2||2|
|4th||D Freese hit sacrifice fly to center, A Craig scored.||3||2|
|6th||M Holliday homered to left (394 feet).||4||2|
|7th||P Kozma grounded into fielder's choice to shortstop, A Chambers scored, P Kozma to second on throwing error by shortstop A Simmons.||5||2|
|7th||M Carpenter reached on infield single to pitcher, P Kozma scored.||6||2|
|7th||M Bourn grounded out to second, J Constanza scored.||6||3|
|View complete Play-By-Play|
|Stadium||Turner Field, Atlanta, GA|
|Attendance||52,631 (106.6% full) - % is based on regular season capacity|
|Weather||81 degrees, clear|
|Umpires||Home Plate - Jeff Kellogg, First Base - Mike Winters, Second Base - Gary Cederstrom, Third Base - Jeff Nelson|
The Braves have now lost 6 winner-take-all games. Only the Yankees have lost more.[+]
Most Losses in Winner-Take-All Games - Postseason History
Braves had 4 unearned runs allowed vs the Cardinals. They are the 3rd team to allowed 4+ unearned runs in a winner-take-all postseason game and the first since the Angels allowed 7 unearned runs vs the Red Sox in the 1986 ALCS.[+]
Most Unearned Runs Allowed - Winner-Take-All Postseason Game
The Braves are the 2nd NL team to lose a winner-take-all postseason game despite getting 12+ hits. The other was the Houston Astros in their NLCS Game 5 loss to the Phillies.
Kyle Lohse was 0-4 in 9 postseason appearances before getting the win on Friday. In MLB history, only 2 pitchers started their postseason career with more consecutive decisions lost: Doyle Alexander lost his first 5 career postseason decisions (1973-87), and Aaron Sele lost his first 6 career postseason decisions (1998-01).
From April-August, the Braves had one game in which they made 3 or more errors -- 4 against the Astros on April 9. They've had three 3-error games since September 1-- September 4 against Rockies, September 15 against Nationals being the other two.
The 5 runs allowed by Kris Medlen tie a career high for runs allowed for him. He had previously allowed 5 runs in a game twice in his career, most recently on July 24, 2010 against the Marlins.
Allen Craig RBI double. He hit MLB-best .403 with RISP during regular season. He had a good regular-season history vs Braves-- 7-14 with 2 HR and 5 RBI for his career
Chipper Jones error: he had 11 errors in 103 regular-season games. Jones rated exactly average this season as a 3rd baseman-- 0 Defensive Runs Saved. This was his first error in a postseason game since he made one in the 2001 NLCS Game 3.
Braves C David Ross HR-- He has 7 career regular-season HR vs the Cardinals too, tied for his most against any team (also has 7 vs Cubs and Giants).
ESPN Stats & Information
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