In many ways, the Cubs’ two wins yesterday – especially the second – were the embodiment of all of the stuff that isn’t supposed to happen to the Cardinals. The opponent came through with runners on third and fewer than two outs. The Cardinals’ pitcher threw the ball away at a critical juncture. The opponent got a run-scoring single from a journeyman call-up.
And the opponent was the beneficiary of a critical call on the field, which could not be reviewed by replay.
The call, of course, was whether Addison Russell’s grounder down the first base line was fair or foul. It was called fair on the field, and, because it was in front of the umpire, that is not a reviewable play. Here’s Russell discussing the game and the hit, with several looks at the grounder:
Although it didn’t look like it was going to be fair, I don’t see a view in that video that shows me anything other than fair. I see the ball landing fair before the bag, and then nicking the line after it bounced over the base. That’s a fair ball all the way, and the umpire got it right.
Until and unless I see clear video otherwise, I suppose. Here’s a longer video with more angles, and, although it bounced foul off of the bat, it then bounced fair, and pretty clearly over the bag.
The Cardinals, as you might expect, were very unpleased about the call and the subsequent ejection of pitcher Seth Maness.