Saturday, October 22, 2011
Cards score 4 after ump misses call
ESPN.com news services
ARLINGTON, Texas -- A missed call by first base umpire Ron Kulpa helped the St. Louis Cardinals score four runs in the fourth inning during Game 3 of the World Series.
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The Cardinals led 1-0 when Albert Pujols led off the fourth with a single. Matt Holliday followed with a perfect double-play ball, but was ruled safe by Kulpa at first. Replays clearly show part-time first baseman Mike Napoli caught second baseman Ian Kinsler's high toss and slapped a tag on Holliday before he reached the bag.
Kulpa said he thought Holliday beat the tag. The Rangers argued, to no avail.
"Well, he missed the play and I knew he missed the play when I went out there," Rangers manager Ron Washington said.
After the game, Kulpa said: "I saw a replay when I walked off the field, and the tag was applied before his foot hit the bag."
The Cardinals quickly scored four times, helped when Napoli threw wide to the plate for an error that let two runs cross. Texas fans booed as replays of the bad call circulated -- they won't be happy to learn, either, that Kulpa was born, raised and lives in the St. Louis area.
"Has nothing to do with it," Kulpa said.
For the Cardinals, perhaps it was a little evening up, albeit many years later. The call came four days before the anniversary of umpire Don Denkinger's missed call at first base in the 1985 World Series that severely cost St. Louis.
In the opener, Kulpa also missed a call at third base, ruling a ball was caught in the air when it actually bounced. That mistake did not lead to any runs.
The Cardinals lead the Series 2-1 after Pujols' three home runs sparked a 16-7 rout.
Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.