During the top of the third inning of Wednesday night’s Cubs-Cardinals game, I briefly slipped into a coma and dreamt of Eduardo Pérez and Jon Sciambi facing off in the kal-if-fee. In the bottom of the third inning, Cardinals pitcher Miles Mikolas totally cheated and got away with it.
Matt Wieters led off the frame for the Cardinals with a double to right center. Mikolas, batting ninth, faked the bunt and slapped a slow grounder to the left side, then booked it down the line to first. The throw from Cubs shortstop Javy Báez was low, and second baseman David Bote, covering first with Anthony Rizzo playing in to take away the bunt, failed to scoop the throw. Wieters advanced to third on the play, and Báez was charged with the error. But check this shit out:
That’s an A-Rod! What the final replay shows is Mikolas reaching down with his left hand and grabbing or pushing Bote’s arm as the ball comes in, which undoubtedly interfered with Bote’s shot at scooping the throw. The umpires missed it, but Bote wasn’t real pleased. Cubs manager Joe Maddon came out to talk to umpire Joe West, who appeared to shrug and inform Maddon that the play was not reviewable. Baseball’s rules about fielder right of way make it pretty clear that Mikolas should’ve been called out, and Wieters should’ve been sent back to second base:
If any member of the batting team (including the coaches) interferes with a fielder’s right of way to field a batted ball, the batter shall be declared out. If any member of the batting team (including the coaches) interferes with a fielder’s right of way to field a thrown ball, the runner on whom the play is being made shall be ruled out. In both cases, the ball will be declared dead and all runners must return to their last legally occupied base at the time of the interference.
Thankfully, karma prevailed. Cubs pitcher Kyle Hendricks pitched around the trouble and kept the Cardinals from capitalizing, and St. Louis was shut out in a 2–0 loss. Afterward Mikolas was asked about the play, and the mustachioed nogoodnik had the gall to blame the victim:
Truly the Cardinal Way has become the way of dishonor.