The Cardinals were in position to tack on an insurance run, leading 3-2 in the top of the ninth inning in last night’s game against the Brewers. The bases were loaded with one out for Yadier Molina, who hit a fly ball to medium depth right field. Brewers right fielder Gerardo Parra picked up some momentum and fired a one-hop strike to catcher Martin Maldonado, who tagged out Jon Jay with plenty of time.
The play was reviewed to see if Maldonado gave Jay a lane — the infamous Rule 7.13. Ultimately, home plate umpire Chris Conroy’s call was upheld and Jay was out, ending the inning. That wasn’t what kept Cardinals manager Mike Matheny out on the field in a discussion with the umpires, however. Via MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch:
“Their third baseman stood in front of our tagging runner and did jumping jacks,” Matheny said after the game. “That’s the first time I had ever seen that. I’m surprised the umpires didn’t see that, but if they would have, it would have been some sort of interference.”
Replays did show Gomez staring Jay down and shimmying as Parra made the catch. But while Gomez may have been in Jay’s sightline of the catch, he was not in the baseline impeding Jay’s path home.
Here’s video of the play, and you can see Gomez standing in front of Jay about 38 seconds into the clip.
The Cardinals ended up winning 3-2, and Matheny’s offense seems much ado about nothing.
Christian Yelich simply can’t be stopped. The Brewers outfielder (and defending NL MVP) entered Saturday’s game with a league-leading 11 home runs after swatting two against the Dodgers on Friday night, then clubbed another two homers in the first six innings of Saturday’s game.
The first came on a 2-1 pitch from the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu, who lobbed a changeup toward the bottom of the strike zone before it was lifted up and out to center field for a solo home run in the third inning.
While Chase Anderson and Alex Claudio held down the fort against the Dodgers’ lineup, Yelich prepared for his second blast in the sixth inning — this one a 421-foot double-decker on a first-pitch curveball from Ryu.
Yelich’s 13 home runs not only gave him a stronger grip on the league’s leaderboard, but helped him tie yet another franchise record, too. Per MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, he’s tied with Prince Fielder for the most home runs hit by a Brewers player in a single month, and sits just one home run shy of tying Álex Rodríguez’s 2007 record for most home runs hit within any club’s first 22 games of the season.
It may be far too early to predict which players will finish first in the MVP races this fall, but there’s no denying Yelich has already set himself apart from the competition. Through Saturday’s performance, he’s batting .361/.459/.880 with a 1.329 OPS and MLB-best 31 RBI across 98 PA so far.