Trouble has found both the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals in the 2013 World Series. Of course teams make errors. That’s part of the game but this series is shaping up to be the promised trick or treat affair that would end predictably on Halloween night should the series go seven games and all indications are that we’re heading that way.
Controversy has swirled since game one. The good news is, even if they had to huddle up and settle down, this World Series umpiring crew has in very large measure gotten it right, especially the critical plays.
Oct 26, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals designated hitter Allen Craig (21) is tripped by Boston Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks (16) during the ninth inning and would score on an obstruction call to win game three of the MLB baseball World Series at Busch Stadium. Cardinals won 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Trouble found Red Birds shortstop Pete Kozma in the very first inning of game one when he clearly never caught a ball that caused second base umpire Dana DeMuth to initially call Dustin Pedroia out at second. It was a pivotal call early in the game. The boys in blue quickly huddled up and reversed the call, getting the decision right and opening the door for a three-run Boston first.
To add insult to injury Kozma muffed a grounder in the second after pitcher Adam Wainwright and catcher Yadier Molina allowed a pop up to drop between them for a hit which was followed by a David Ross single. Boston picked up two more runs and was off to the races en route to an 8-1 series opening drubbing of the Cards.
It was less a case of trouble finding you but more of making your own trouble when Jarrod Saltalamacchia‘s and Craig Breslow‘s double blunder in game two sealed Boston’s fate. When Salty made a bad decision and didn’t come up the first base line to block a throw from Jonny Gomes, he tried to make a sweep tag at the plate and the ball scooted by, allowing the Cards to score the tying run. Breslow scooped up the errant throw and once again proved that pitchers shouldn’t throw to any other base but home plate, sailing a throw into foul territory in left field and allowing the Cards to go up a run. Boston eventually lost the game 4-2.
In game three a World Series first occurred when the game ended on an obstruction play in which Will Middlebrooks tripped up Allen Craig to give the Cardinals a 5-4 win, a loss that could have torn the hearts out of a lesser team.
Oct 27, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Koji Uehara (right) celebrates with teammates after defeating the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the MLB baseball World Series at Busch Stadium. Red Sox won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports
Another World Series first happened in game four when Boston closer Koji Uehara recorded the final three outs of the game, the last of which came on a pickoff of pinch-runner Kolten Wong at first base. “I just got a little off the base,” Wong said. “I wanted to get back and my foot slipped on me.” A World Series game has never ended on a pick off. Oops. Go figure.
As I’m watching the Sox in game five up 1-0 I simply can’t imagine what’s going to happen next. This is why we watch.