Pittsburgh has its first run in this NLDS Game 5.
Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright cruised through his first six innings and got two quick outs to open the seventh, but Cardinals second baseman Matt Carpenter slipped while trying to pick up a Justin Morneau infield single and then Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma misplayed a Marlon Byrd groundball to put runners at first and second. Pedro Alvarez then drove Morneau home with a grounder that hit off the first base bag and sailed high over the glove of less-than-agile Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams. Alvarez is the first player in major league history to register an RBI in the first six postseason games of his career.
The host Cardinals still lead 3-1 as Game 5 moves along to the top of the eighth inning.
Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge found himself front-and-center in a weird play in the bottom of the fourth inning during Game 4 of the ALCS on Tuesday evening. Judge drew a walk to lead off the frame. After Didi Gregorius lined out, Gary Sanchez flied out to shallow right-center.
Judge must have thought the ball had a high probability of falling in for a hit, so he was past the second base bag around the time he realized his mistake. He retraced his steps, running back to first base. Reddick’s throw hopped a couple of times but first base umpire Jerry Meals called Judge out on the tag-up play.
Manager Joe Girardi requested a review and the call was overturned: Judge was safe. However, Astros manager A.J. Hinch wanted to challenge that Judge did not re-touch second base on his way back. Rather than issuing a formal challenge, the Astros had to appeal the play by having starter Lance McCullers throw to second base, at which point second base umpire Jim Reynolds would issue a ruling. McCullers was a bit hasty, though, and made his appeal throw before Greg Bird stepped into the batter’s box. Reynolds told McCullers that he had to wait. So, McCullers again made his appeal throw.
This time, Judge was running and he was simply tagged out at second base for the final out of the inning. No need for a review.
As Ken Rosenthal explained on the FS1 broadcast, the Yankees were trying to “beat the police.” They knew Judge would have been ruled out — replays clearly showed he never re-touched the base — so they had nothing to lose by sending Judge. If he was safe, the Astros would no longer be able to appeal the play. If he’s out, then it’s the same outcome they would have had anyway.