The Bottom Line

— The St. Louis Cardinals have momentarily advanced to the divisional series on Friday evening after defeating the Atlanta Braves in a one-game playoff by a score of 6-3.

— Kyle Lohse threw 5 2/3 innings and allowed merely a two-run home run to David Ross along with six hits. He was absolutely terrific and proved absolutely and everybody wrong who thought that he shouldn’t be starting this game.

Lohse’s only mistake today was obviously the change-up to David Ross, who was in the for the injured Brian McCann, in the second inning. He threw the pitch, Ross swung and missed, and then home plate umpire Jeff Kellogg called a time out that Ross requested just a second earlier. Lohse subsequently threw the same pitch which Ross crushed over the left field wall. I’m not going to say it was unfair, but it was definitely unfortunate.

The only other thing I’ll mention before we get to the obvious is the horrid Braves’ horrid defense. Just an absurd number of errors and almost as embarrassing a display as Brooks Conrad gave in the divisional series a couple of years ago. Alright, here we go…

INFIELD FLY RULE DISASTER: OK…I don’t even know where to begin in regards to the infield-fly rule catastrophe in the eighth inning. I think it’s pretty clear that it should have been called an infield fly. The infield-fly rule reads the following:

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.

In other words, there is no doubt that that was an infield-fly. Pete Kozma made an attempt to catch the ball, camped underneath it, and dropped it. The rule in question is whether or not Gary Sederstorm or Jeff Nelson (the two umpires on hand), called it quickly enough. To be perfectly honest, I don’t believe they did. Neither of their arms went in the air, and by the time they did, the ball was already on the ground.

No protest in the history of Major League History has ever been upheld, but it will be very interesting to see what Bud Selig does in this circumstance. In any case, it’s an extremely unfortunate circumstance, one that will be remembered for a very long time. And for what it’s worth, Braves fans should be embarrassed about the chaos and havoc they caused on the field. It unnecessarily delayed the game and it just made the situation that much more confusing. I really don’t have much else to say other than let’s see what happens. 

What’s Next: Well, hopefully, the Cardinals will begin a best three out of five series against the Washington Nationals on Sunday afternoon at 2:07 CST. Along with game two, the game will take place at Busch Stadium. As always, all pre and post game information can be found on CardsBlog. LET’S GO CARDS!