October 17, 2005

The Cards flip as the Astros squeak by again: Tony LaRussa and Jim Edmonds get tossed and Albert Pujols makes a ninth-inning baserunning goof, but the cooler heads of Houston take a 3-1 lead in the NLCS.

posted by wfrazerjr to baseball at 09:15 AM - 18 comments

Go 'stro's I have no problem rooting for former Yankee greats. No hard fellings for Roger and I can't believe we let Andy go. It still gets me pissed off. Card's maybe the next big choke team since the Braves.

posted by HATER 187 at 09:55 AM on October 17

Card's maybe the next big choke team since the Braves. That's what it's starting to look like. Last year their bats all but disappeared at crunch-time, and this year looks like more of the same. I'm starting to really believe the Cards are a team that's talented but also a 50/50 split of old players or soft ones. Pujols is so effortless in his great hitting but makes one of the stupidest baserunning mistakes at the most crucial time possible! Anyone can screw up, but give me a break. Making the first out at home plate with no outs? That wouldn't be tolerated in little league. Hopefully the Astros can put them away ASAP, because they're definitely the hotter, more fired up team. And LaRussa is losing it. Those pitches that sent him over the edge were balls any way you cut it. Maybe he thought that would fire the team up, but no chance of that.

posted by dyams at 10:08 AM on October 17

Apparently that ump had bit too much sensitivity training. La Russa's ejection might (I stress might) have been justified but I don't think you throw Edmonds or any other player out of the LCS unless there's physical contact with blue. The strike zone yesterday was ridiculous and I would be pissed if I was a Cardinals fan. It wasn't even consistent and the Astros seemed to get the edge on balls and strikes. La Russa was classy in the post game interview and gave no excuses but inside he had to be steaming. The double play to end the game was incredible. As an Astros fan, I'm trying not to even let myself think about the big one. Will this be the year we finally break through???...back to work so I don't think about it.... C'mon Andy.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 10:16 AM on October 17

As a Cardinals fan, I think LaRussa was more upset that Jason Marquis was throwing into a postage stamp while the 'Stros had a bushel basket. Still, it wasn't the umpires that lost this game -- it was St. Louis and its inability to get the clutch hit. Why in the hell they didn't pinch-run for Sanders and then attempt a steal on the first pitch to try and avoid the double play is beyond me.

posted by wfrazerjr at 10:36 AM on October 17

A Canadian perspective on plate umpire Phil Cuzzi. You Jays fans may remember him as the doorknob who ejected Roy Halladay in a late September start a couple years ago.

posted by wfrazerjr at 10:38 AM on October 17

La Russa's ejection seemed to fire up the cards just like he wanted. His replacement cost 'em the series. Go Stros!

posted by catfish at 10:52 AM on October 17

Pujols can only do what the 3rd base coach tells him. I would not have sent him, but I don't get paid to make those decisions. Plus, Pujols is the only Cardinal that has been effective in both series. I do agree with wfrazerjr, that was the most inconsistent strike zone I have ever seen. I don't know about the postage stamp/bushel basket, but the K pitch to Edmonds that got him thrown out, was called a ball to the 'Stros in the bottom half so who knows. THe silence of the Cards bats is what is wrong and if they don't win this year, they can christen the new stadium next year with a new WS banner.

posted by mcstan13 at 11:09 AM on October 17

Stan, Oquendo told Pujols to stay, and for whatever reason, Albert choice to run of his own accord. Hopefully he got a good dressing down in the clubhouse.

posted by wfrazerjr at 11:14 AM on October 17

Pujols can only do what the 3rd base coach tells him. That situation is covered in Baserunning 101, and even though in this situation Pujols chose to go on his own, even if the third base coach would have told him to go, there's no saying he absolutely, positively HAD to go. Signs are missed by players all the time, and runners often fail to look at or pick up the base coach when running bases. Pujols should have known in his mind exactly which type of batted ball would take his butt from third towards home, and a bouncer to the third baseman was right up near the top of the "Don't Go" list, right behind a line drive to the infield and a comebacker to the pitcher.

posted by dyams at 12:19 PM on October 17

I was disgusted with yesterday's game. Bad calls were flying, People getting ejected way too quickly, and the cards couldn't overcome anything. I hope they get a fire under their butts like the Redsox did last year. I don't want to see White Sox vs. Astros. I think it will be better with St.Louis and Chicago in the world series since they were battling it out for the best record over the whole entire year. With Carpenter on the mound tonight, the Cardinals better take advantage of the situation and bring it back home.

posted by D-train at 12:21 PM on October 17

Ejecting someone out of a playoff game is unaccepteble but wat ever becuase the astros have a heart of a true team and nothing can stop them from winning thw world series.

posted by barry from h-town at 01:20 PM on October 17

Except maybe the Cardinals, who stopped the team and all its heart last year.

posted by cl at 01:29 PM on October 17

Edmonds wasn't going to get ejected, at first. He made his objections known, and he started to turn back towards the pitcher, and the umpire was ready to let it go. Then he just felt he needed to add "Fuck that!" as a final comment. It's VERY easy to read his lips when he said that. If he doesn't make that comment, he stays in the game. It's well known that you don't argue pitches in a vocal manner. Do what Bernie Williams does: talk under your breath with the ump while getting ready for the next pitch. I thought it was a bad call by the ump (the strike call), but a stupid move by Edmonds. If it was the third strike, I can see why he'd be upset. But he had at least one more pitch coming his way and turn his team's fortune around.

posted by grum@work at 02:00 PM on October 17

Grum, I don't disagree at all. I was pretty upset until FOX showed the close-up. My ruke as an umpire was always, "Don't spit on me while you're yelling and don't use the f-bomb or anything ending in 'ker' and we'll be just fine." Edmonds broke that one and out he goes.

posted by wfrazerjr at 02:24 PM on October 17

But guys, shouldn't the ump consider the circumstances...the magnitude of the game and the scoreline? I guess I have hard time seeing game officials acting as emotional as the players and coaches. On the Edmonds issue, I was just talking to the TV..."No, no, no, don't throw him out. If we (Astros) are going to win, we want it to be against their best."

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 02:37 PM on October 17

Grum, I don't disagree at all. I was pretty upset until FOX showed the close-up. My ruke as an umpire was always, "Don't spit on me while you're yelling and don't use the f-bomb or anything ending in 'ker' and we'll be just fine." Edmonds broke that one and out he goes. F--- That!. If he's talking about the call and not referring to the ump than get over it... How can you justify tossing somebody for that in a playoff game. That said, I'm incredibly bias against baseball umps.

posted by tron7 at 03:18 PM on October 17

Between the NLCS and the ALCS this has to be the worst combined umpiring effort period. Who will be held accountable? You know LaRussa and Edmonds are going to get fined up the whazoo, but what happens to the umpires when they make irresponsible calls and let their emotions get the better of them? We can only hope it will be an entirely new umpiring crew for the WS.

posted by willthrill72 at 04:38 PM on October 17

F--- That!. You're outta here! /gives heave-ho motion to tron7

posted by grum@work at 10:51 PM on October 17

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