Closing Time: Mujica causes panic in Cardinals Nation
The St. Louis Cardinals had fans on the edge of their seats in the 9th inning last night.
Apr 18, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Edward Mujica (44) celebrates after recording the last out in the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Cardinals defeated the Phillies 4-3. Image Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
As the Cardinals held on to a 4-3 lead entering the ninth inning, I feared that Adam Wainwright‘s start would have been for nothing. Wainwright (3-1) had a strong outing going seven innings deep. The staff ace allowed 9 hits, 3 runs, and struck out 4 batters. Impressively, Waino has not given up a single walk or intentional walk in 29 innings this season. This feat is just as impressive as Jake Westbrook not allowing a single earned run to score this season.
The Cardinals were backed up, on the offensive side by a home run by Carlos Beltran off of Phillies pitcher Mike Adams. However, if there was instant replay in effect, Yadier Molina‘s 2-run double would have been a foul ball. The Phillies broadcast on CSN, which was picked up nationally by the MLB Network on Thursday night, replayed the ball touching down quite a few times. It was clearly a foul ball. Phillies fans have every right to be upset about that and I don’t blame them but this is where the human aspect of being an umpire comes into play.
This was how St. Louis Post-Dispatch beat writer Derrick Goold put it shortly after it occurred:
After sending in Trevor Rosenthal to start the 8th inning, Cardinals skipper Mike Matheny would soon request the services of Edward Mujica to finish the 8th after Rosenthal allowed 2 hits.
The 9th inning saw back to back singles by Ben Revere and Erik Kratz. Revere took to third on the single by Kratz. Pinch-hitter Kevin Frandsen grounded out and advanced Kratz to second. With one out and runners in scoring position, 2007 National League MVP Jimmy Rollins struck out swinging. Two outs, two on, Freddy Galvis comes up to the plate and would end the game on a grounder to second. Cardinals Nation would breathe in a sigh of relief.