Cardinals Eliminate Braves in NL Wild Card Game 6-3 Amid Controversy

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Holliday had two hits and two runs scored including a home run

The Atlanta Braves hadn’t  lost when Kris Medlen started a game in more than two years. The St Louis Cardinals changed that with a 6-3 victory in the National League Wild-Card Game over the Braves despite a controversial call in the eighth inning and a delay of the game when fans littered the field with cups and trash. The delay lasted 19 min.

That’s when  Andrelton Simmons hit a  fly ball that dropped in between St. Louis shortstop Pete Kozma and left-fielder Matt Holliday. Left-field umpire Sam Holbrook signaled an automatic out because of the infield fly rule, sending the 52,631 fans into a frenzied uproar. Instead of bases loaded and one out, it was second and third with two out. Manager Fredi Gonzalez informed the umpires the Braves would be playing the rest of the game under protest. Here is the definition of baseball’s infield fly rule:

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.

Holliday hit a home run to left field in the sixth inning to give the Cardinals a 4-2 lead. Michael Bourne grounded out to second base in the seventh inning for the Braves scoring Jose Constanza who had entered the game as a pinch hitter. David Ross who was playing in place of Braves catcher Brian McCann had three hits and two RBI for the Atlanta.

Medlen pitched into the seventh inning allowing five runs, only two runs earned and striking out four. Kyle Lohse pitched into the sixth inning for the Cardinals allowing two or reruns and striking out six while walking just one. Jason Motte pitched 1 1/3 innings for the save.

Chipper Jones playing in his last game had an infield hit in his final at-bat but made a costly error in the fourth inning and the Cardinals capitalized scoring three runs to erase a 2-0 by the Braves. Major League Baseball is expected to return a ruling on the protest later this evening. Update Joe Torre, speaking on behalf of Major League Baseball, Joe Torre officially announced that the Braves’ protest of Friday’s game has been denied.

 


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