The St. Louis Cardinals beat the Cincinnati Reds tonight, as Yadier Molina doubled in Matt Carpenter to give the team a critical 4-3 win, keeping them right in the thick of the N.L. Wild Card race. Thing is, Molina’s walk-off hit might have been a ground rule double, which would have left the game tied at 3 with runners on second and third base. But Reds left fielder Adam Duvall didn’t make any signal that the ball had bounced high and manager Bryan Price did not signal for a review in time. By the time Price emerged from the dugout, the umpires had already disappeared.
Here’s the hit.
As you’ll notice, the ball strikes the video ad sign above the padded wall before bouncing back into play. Per the Cardinals’ ground rules, a ball that returns to play after bouncing above the wall is only fair if it strikes the top of the padded wall; above that, it’s a home run if it hits the signage in the air, and a ground rule double if it hits it off the bounce.
There’s some uncertainty about what precisely constitutes a ground rule double, and the Reds broadcast crew misinterpreted the “top of the wall” fair area for the signs beyond the top of the padded wall and insisted that the play should have counted as it stood. Regardless, the bigger issue was Price failing to lodge his challenge in time and the umpires disappearing into a cloud of smoke. After the hit, the Cardinals celebrated and got off the dirt real quick, while the Reds just sort of stood around, and Price left to go find some umpires.
Price was not able to get a review, and the Reds lost. The umpires confirmed that since Price did not move to challenge quickly, the play stood.
The whole N.L. Central has apparently lost its collective mind tonight.