Mike Shannon thought it was really funny that the Boston Red Sox were holding St. Louis Cardinals pinch runner Kolten Wong on first base — until it wasn’t.
Shannon, the former third baseman/outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1962 to 1970, broadcasts Cards games on KMOX radio. Wong, a rookie, entered last night’s World Series game as a pinch runner when with two outs in the bottom of the ninth in place of Allen Craig who had singled. The tying run was at the plate in the form of slugger Carlos Beltran.
Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli was holding Wong at first base rather than playing the line. Lights-out closer Koji Uehara threw to first, and Wong was picked off, ending the game with a 4-2 Red Sox victory, which deadlocked the World Series at two games each. A Jonny Gomes three-run homer in the sixth inning was the key blow. The Sox needed a victory badly; they lost Game 3 on a controversial obstruction play called by umpire Jim Joyce, the very same official that ruined Armando Galarraga’s perfect game on June 2, 2010, when he blew a call at first base on what should have been the final out of the game.
Before Wong was tagged out last night leaving Cardinals Nations stunned, a laughing Shannon had this to say to his radio audience (at about the two-minute mark of the embed below):
“The first baseman Napoli holds against the runner –why I do not know. Why would they be holding? That’s silly… there’s a throw over, and he’s… picked off. He picked him off; unbelievable. The Cardinal pinch runner Wong is picked off, and Boston wins the game 4-2. A rookie mistake.”
When the other announcer chimed in, “that’s why they were holding,” Shannon reversed course and said “Exactly right.”
As the Awful Announcing sports blog observes, “A few milliseconds later, Wong was picked off first and Shannon had to pick the egg off his face.”
This was the first MLB playoff game in history that ended on a pick-off play. The obstruction call the night before also made history for the same reason.
Ace Adam Wainwright takes the mound for the Cards tonight at Busch Stadium in Game 5 against Sox ace Jon Lester. Game 6 (and if necessary) Game 7 shifts to Fenway Park in Boston.
All i want to say is i'm sorry #CardinalNation I go out everyday playing this game as hard as I can and leaving everything on the field.
— Kolten Wong (@KoltenWong) October 28, 2013
[top image credit: NawlinWiki]