Texas Rangers v St Louis Cardinals - Game 4

World Series Game 4 Live Blog: Cardinals vs. Rangers

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11:14: Feliz gets Holliday swinging to end it. The Rangers top the Cardinals 4-0 and tie the series at two games apiece. C.J. Wilson will take on Chris Carpenter in Game 5 tomorrow night. We have one heckuva World Series on our hands here, people.

11:11: Pujols skies one to Craig Gentry in center field for the second out. Matt Holliday will try to keep the Cards alive in this one.

11:10: Pujols popped one in foul territory, but neither Moreland or Cruz could catch up to it.

11:08: Uh oh. Feliz walks Allen Craig. Runners on first and second with one away for Albert Pujols.

11:04: Holland issues a one-out walk to Rafael Furcal and that’ll be it. The young left-hander pleaded his case with Ron Washington, but Neftali Feliz will come in to try to finish this one. Holland gets a well-deserved standing ovation from the Arlington faithful as he walks back to the dugout.

11:01: Nick Punto retired on a ground ball to Adrian Beltre. One away.

10:59: Derek Holland, currently at 105 pitches, will try to finish what he started. He’s back out there for the top of the ninth.

10:57: Moreland’s struggles continue, as he grounds into an inning-ending double play. Nicely turned by Punto and Furcal. Last licks coming up for the Cards as the Rangers lead this one 4-0.

10:56: Westbrook got David Murphy to ground out, but issued a walk to Mike Napoli. Runners on first and second with one down for Mitch Moreland.

10:50: Allen Craig misjudges a fly ball in right, resulting in a leadoff single for Nelson Cruz.

10:48: Jake Westbrook on to pitch for the Cardinals in the bottom of the eighth while Skip Schumaker takes over in center field.

10:45: Wow. And he gets Theriot swinging, as well. Holland has allowed just two hits over eight shutout innings while striking out seven and walking just one.

10:44: Two quick outs for Holland. Here’s Ryan Theriot, pinch-hitting for the struggling Jon Jay.

10:41: Interesting. Derek Holland back out there for the top of the eighth.

10:38: Nice job by Boggs. He retired three straight after the leadoff double by Andrus to keep the score 4-0.

10:35: Boggs gets Michael Young swinging for the second out. It’s up to Adrian Beltre to keep the inning alive.

10:33: Zooey Deschanel and her FOX cohorts have left the building. What a shocker.

10:31: Nope. Hamilton lines out to center field. One away for Michael Young.

10:29: Allen Craig comes up empty attempting a diving catch in right, which results in a leadoff double by Elvis Andrus. Let’s see if Josh Hamilton can cash in again.

10:28: Mitchell Boggs remains in the game to begin the bottom of the seventh. Jake Westbrook up in the bullpen for the Cardinals.

10:24: Holland gets Lance Berkman looking on the inside corner to end the inning. Seven shutout innings. What a night for the young left-hander.

10:21: And now Matt Holliday bounces out to Holland. Two away for Berkman, who has both of the Cardinals’ hits tonight.

10:17: Derek Holland retires Pujols on a comebacker to begin the top of the seventh. Now he’ll face Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman.

10:14: Boggs gets Mitch Moreland to ground out and fans Ian Kinsler to end the inning, but the damage is done. 4-0 Rangers as we move to the top of the seventh.

10:09: And Napoli promptly crushes a high fastball from Boggs for a three-run bomb to left. There’s your No. 8 hitter, ladies and gentlemen. 4-0 Rangers.

10:07: The Cardinals stalled long enough so that Mitchell Boggs had enough time to get ready. He’ll come in to face Mike Napoli with runners on first and second and one away.

10:04: Oy. Make that seven walks for Jackson. Time for the hook?

10:02: Nelson Cruz draws a one-out walk. Edwin Jackson has now walked six batters tonight.

9:58: Adrian Beltre fouls a ball off his leg to begin the bottom of the sixth. That’s just what he does. Edwin Jackson is still out there, by the way.

9:55: Allen Craig strikes out swinging for the third out. Holland has thrown 77 pitches over six shutout frames.

9:51: Derek Holland issues a one-out walk to Nick Punto. While Edwin Jackson has been erratic, that was Holland’s first walk of the evening.

9:46: Michael Young flies out to right field to end the inning. Edwin Jackson is now at 94 pitches through five shaky innings of one-run ball. Good chance he’s done for the night.

9:42: Josh Hamilton goes down swinging for the second out of the inning. Big strikeout for Jackson, who is approaching 100 pitches.

9:38: Andrus fails to get the bunt down and then flies out to right for the first out of the inning. No advancement by Kinsler.

9:36: Ugh. Making Elvis Andrus bunt? Don’t like.

9:35: Edwin Jackson issues a leadoff walk to Ian Kinsler, who will no doubt be more careful at first base this time.

9:31: Yadier Molina lines out to Josh Hamilton for the final out of the inning. Make that five shutout innings for Holland.

9:28: Lance Berkman singled to lead off the top of the fifth, but David Freese grounded into a double play.

9:27: Anybody else see Baseball Reference and Rotoworld on that Google “perfect game” commercial? Neat.

9:25: And Edwin Jackson gets Moreland swinging to end the threat. The Rangers have a 1-0 lead going into the top of the fifth.

9:22: After a lengthy at-bat, Napoli draws a walk. Runners on first and second with two outs for the struggling Mitch Moreland.

9:18: Edwin Jackson issues a two-out walk to David Murphy. Here’s No. 8 hitter Mike Napoli. Did I mention he’s batting eighth tonight?

9:15: Jon Jay makes a leaping grab near the center field wall on a fly ball off the bat of Nelson Cruz. Two away.

9:10: Matt Holliday set aside on a grounder to third baseman Adrian Beltre. Derek Holland now has four shutout frames under his belt.

9:08: Albert Pujols pops out to first baseman Mitch Moreland in foul territory for the second out of the fourth. He’s slumping.

9:03: Michael Young skies out near the warning track in distant center field for the final out of the third. It’s 1-0 Rangers as we move to the top of the fourth.

9:01: Tim McCarver: “What are Sprockets?” Classic.

9:00: Dirk doing “The Wash.” Awesome.

8:55: Furcal retired on a comebacker for the final out of the top of the third.

8:53: Very close play on that Jay grounder to Andrus, but it looks like first base umpire Ted Barrett got it right.

8:50: Oh boy. Yadier Molina throws behind the runner and catches Kinsler napping off first base. Inning over.

8:47: Ian Kinsler reaches with a two-out single to left field. Here comes Elvis Andrus, who singled in the first inning.

8:43: Napoli flies out to the warning track in center field. That’s a long first out.

8:41: Eighth place hitter Mike Napoli. That sounds about right.

8:38: Good play by Ian Kinsler to catch up to a ground ball off the bat of Yadier Molina for the final out of the inning. At first it looked like Kinsler was going to eat it, but then he realized a Molina was running.

8:37: Holland goes to the insider corner again to get David Freese looking for the second out. Freese isn’t pleased with home plate umpire Ron Kulpa.

8:34: Lance Berkman goes the opposite way for a double, the first hit of the evening for the Cardinals.

8:32: Matt Holliday rung up on a fastball on the inside corner for the first out.

8:28: So much for that. Murphy put a charge in one, but Matt Holliday tracked it down near the warning track in left for the final out of the bottom of the first. It’s 1-0 Rangers as we move to the top of the second in Arlington.

8:27: Jackson walks Nelson Cruz to load the bases for David Murphy, who was moved up to seventh in the order tonight.

8:23: Adrian Beltre goes down swinging after being fooled badly on a slider. Runners on first and second with two away for Nelson Cruz.

8:21: Michael Young walks on four straight pitches. Just look at that classy stroll down to first base.

8:19: The Rangers strike first courtesy of an RBI double by Josh Hamilton. He turned around on a changeup from Edwin Jackson and yanked it into the right field corner. Andrus scampered home from first base.

8:17: Elvis Andrus singles to left for the first hit of the ballgame. Here comes the ailing Josh Hamilton.

8:15: Ian Kinsler breaks his bat on a groundout to begin the bottom of the first.

8:11: And Pujols is retired on a grounder to Elvis Andrus. It’s a 1-2-3 inning for Derek Holland to get us started.

8:10: Holland gets Allen Craig swinging for the second out. Oh boy, here comes Mr. Pujols.

8:08: Adrian Beltre snags a screaming liner off the bat of Furcal, robbing him of what was likely a leadoff double. One away.

8:07: And we’re off. Rafael Furcal fouls off the first pitch from Derek Holland.

8:03: Are we sure Zooey Deschanel can’t hang around and sing a few more tunes? Or just stand there for a while? Sigh. Anyway, first pitch is a minute or so away, so hang tight.

7:55 p.m. ET: The Cardinals hold a 2-1 advantage over the Rangers in the World Series going into Game 4 tonight in Arlington. We’ll have all the action covered in a live blog, beginning right around first-pitch at 8:05 p.m. ET.

Here are tonight’s lineups and starting pitchers, as mentioned by Drew earlier this afternoon:

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS             TEXAS RANGERS
1. Rafael Furcal, SS            1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
2. Allen Craig, RF              2. Elvis Andrus, SS
3. Albert Pujols, 1B            3. Josh Hamilton, CF
4. Matt Holliday, LF            4. Michael Young, DH
5. Lance Berkman, DH            5. Adrian Beltre, 3B
6. David Freese, 3B             6. Nelson Cruz, RF
7. Yadier Molina, C             7. David Murphy, LF
8. Jon Jay, CF                  8. Mike Napoli, C
9. Nick Punto, 2B               9. Mitch Moreland, 1B

SP Edwin Jackson, RHP           SP Derek Holland, LHP

Feel free to join the conversation in our comments section. Let’s do this.

Rob Manfred on robot umps: “In general, I would be a keep-the-human-element-in-the-game guy.”

KANSAS CITY, MO - APRIL 5:  Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred talks with media prior to a game between the New York Mets and Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on April 5, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Ed Zurga/Getty Images
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Craig covered the bulk of Rob Manfred’s quotes from earlier. The commissioner was asked about robot umpires and he’s not a fan. Via Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports:

Manfred was wrong to blame the player’s union’s “lack of cooperation” on proposed rule changes, but he’s right about robot umps and the strike zone. The obvious point is that robot umps cannot yet call balls and strikes with greater accuracy than umpires. Those strike zone Twitter accounts, such as this, are sometimes hilariously wrong. Even the strike zone graphics used on television are incorrect and unfortunate percentage of the time.

The first issue to consider about robot umps is taking jobs away from people. There are 99 umps and more in the minors. If robot umpiring was adopted in collegiate baseball, as well as the independent leagues, that’s even more umpires out of work. Is it worth it for an extra one or two percent improvement in accuracy?

Personally, the fallibility of the umpires adds more intrigue to baseball games. There’s strategy involved, as each umpire has tendencies which teams can strategize against. For instance, an umpire with a more generous-than-average strike zone on the outer portion of the plate might entice a pitcher to pepper that area with more sliders than he would otherwise throw. Hitters, knowing an umpire with a smaller strike zone is behind the dish, may take more pitches in an attempt to draw a walk. Or, knowing that information, a hitter may swing for the fences on a 3-0 pitch knowing the pitcher has to throw in a very specific area to guarantee a strike call or else give up a walk.

The umpires make their mistakes in random fashion, so it adds a chaotic, unpredictable element to the game as well. It feels bad when one of those calls goes against your team, but fans often forget the myriad calls that previously went in their teams’ favor. The mistakes will mostly even out in the end.

I haven’t had the opportunity to say this often, but Rob Manfred is right in this instance.

Report: MLB approves new rule allowing a dugout signal for an intentional walk

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 29:  MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred laughs during a ceremony naming the 2016 winners of the Mariano Rivera American League Reliever of the Year Award and the Trevor Hoffman National League Reliever of the Year Award before Game Four of the 2016 World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians at Wrigley Field on October 29, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images
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ESPN’s Howard Bryant is reporting that Major League Baseball has approved a rule allowing for a dugout signal for an intentional walk. In other words, baseball is allowing automatic intentional walks. Bryant adds that this rule will be effective for the 2017 season.

MLB has been trying, particularly this month, to improve the pace of play. Getting rid of the formality of throwing four pitches wide of the strike zone will save a minute or two for each intentional walk. There were 932 of them across 2,428 games last season, an average of one intentional walk every 2.6 games. It’s not the biggest improvement, but it’s something at least.

Earlier, Commissioner Rob Manfred was upset with the players’ union’s “lack of cooperation.” Perhaps his public criticism was the catalyst for getting this rule passed.

Unfortunately, getting rid of the intentional walk formality will eradicate the chance of seeing any more moments like this: