Link-O-Rama: Umpires Gone Wild!

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* It wasn’t quite as eventful as Carlos Zambrano’s implosion yesterday, but this afternoon’s Twins-Red Sox game just saw home-plate umpire Todd Tichenor eject both starting catchers and both managers in the same inning, about five minutes apart.

Mike Redmond and Ron Gardenire were tossed in the top of the seventh
after a borderline call at the plate went against the Twins and in the
bottom of the frame Jason Varitek and Terry Francona were thrown out
when Josh Beckett didn’t like the strike zone. Beckett avoided
Tichenor’s wrath despite screaming obscenities from the mound by
smartly turning his back and walking toward second base while Varitek
took up the fight.

* The White Sox may not be ready to call up Gordon Beckham yet, but they did promote him to Triple-A yesterday. Beckham’s final line at Double-A: .299/.366/.497 with four homers, 17 doubles, and a 24/14 K/BB ratio in 38 games.

* It took 180 plate appearances, but Bobby Abreu finally hit his first homer
of the season. Now that Abreu and David Ortiz are both off the schneid,
Russell Martin is the closest thing to a power hitter among the 17 guys
who’re still homerless with at least 100 trips to the plate.

* Now that David Price is in the Rays’ rotation and Matt Wieters is
due to arrive in Baltimore tomorrow, can Braves right-hander Tommy
Hanson be very far behind?

* Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com projects the first 20 picks of this year’s draft, which is less than two weeks away. You’ll be absolutely shocked who he has as the No. 1 pick.

Cardinals walk off on controversial double by Yadier Molina

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 15:  Yadier Molina #4 of the St. Louis Cardinals reacts after he was called out on strike against the San Francisco Giants in the top of the six inning at AT&T Park on September 15, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
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Update (11:09 PM EDT):

*

From unlucky to lucky, the Cardinals maintained their position in the National League Wild Card race with walk-off victory over the Reds on Thursday night.

The Cardinals went into the top of the ninth with a 3-2 lead over the Reds, but saw the game tied when Scott Schebler dribbled a two-strike, two out ground ball down the third base line. It seemed as if the baseball gods had turned their backs on the Cardinals.

In the bottom of the ninth against reliever Blake Wood, Matt Carpenter drew a one-out walk. Randal Grichuk then struck out, leaving all of the Cardinals’ hopes on Yadier Molina. Molina went ahead 2-0 in the count, then ripped a 95 MPH fastball to left field. The ball bounced high and over the left field fence for what seemed like an obvious ground-rule double. Carpenter motored around third base and scored the winning run.

The Cardinals poured onto the field in celebration and the umpires walked off the field. Manager Bryan Price wanted to have the play reviewed, but when he went onto the field, the umpires were nowhere to be found. Price chased after them but to no avail. As the Cardinals left the field and the stadium emptied, the Reds remained in the dugout. The Reds’ relievers were left in a bit of purgatory, standing aimlessly in left field after exiting the bullpen. Finally, the game was announced as complete over the P.A. system at Busch Stadium. The results are great if you’re a Cardinals fan, but terrible if you’re a Mets or Giants fan.

As Jon Morosi points out, the rules clearly state that the signage above the fence in left field is out of the field of play. The umpires got it wrong.

Price, however, also took too long to speak to the umpires. Per Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

If this happened between two teams playing a meaningless game, it would’ve been a lot easier to swallow, but Thursday’s Reds-Cardinals game had implications on not only the Cardinals’ future, but the Mets’ and Giants’ as well.

Freddie Freeman’s hitting streak ends at 30 games

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 28:  First baseman Freddie Freeman #5 of the Atlanta Braves hits a single in the sixth inning to extend his hitting streak to 30 games during the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Turner Field on September 28, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images
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Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman went 0-for-4 during Thursday’s win against the Phillies, snapping his hitting streak at 30 games. It marked the longest hitting streak of the 2016 season. Freeman’s streak of 46 consecutive games reaching base safely ended as well.

The longest hitting streak in Atlanta Braves history belongs to Dan Uggla, who hit in 33 consecutive games in 2011. Tommy Holmes hit in 37 straight for the Boston Braves in 1945.

During his hitting streak, Freeman hit .384/.485/.670 with 11 doubles, seven home runs, 27 RBI, and 26 runs scored in 136 plate appearances. That padded what were already very strong numbers on the season. After Thursday’s game, Freeman is overall batting .306/.404/.572 with 33 home runs, 88 RBI< and 101 runs scored in 677 plate appearances.