World Series Game 3: Cards, Umps, And Defense Knock Matt Harrison Out Early

It's always tough to be hyper-critical of umpires. It's easy to be critical after watching a few slow-motion replays, but things happen pretty quickly down at field level. They do the best they can, dang it.

But this was an unbelievably awful call:


That's the back-end of a double player that wasn't, and it's Mike Napoli clearly applying a tag to Matt Holliday. Clearly. The best part is Napoli tagging him on the back, and a split-second later tagging him on the back of the helmet. Nope. Safe.

After Ron Kulpa blew the call, Lance Berkman took a Matt Harrison pitch to right field for a single, and that was followed by a double from David Freese to score the ill-gotten runner. An intentional walk to load the bases -- gee, I love those -- set up a slow chopper to Napoli at first, who threw wildly to home for a two-run error.

I keep telling everyone that the Napoli trade was a mistake, but no one will listen.

The Cardinals kept pouring on, with Ryan Theriot singling home Yadier Molina for another run, putting St. Louis up 5-0.

I'm not sure how much of this is Matt Harrison's fault, but I'm pretty sure the answer is between "not a whole lot" and "not a whole bunch." The best defensive play of the inning came on his last play of the game, when he flipped a comebacker back to home plate for the second out of the fourth.

Harrison is out, Scott Feldman is in, and the only thing to do is feel badly for the young lefty. He deserved a little better. And this is how the Rangers feel right now:


That's about a 120-frame .gif, times 1,000 words per picture ... yeah, that's a novella, at least.

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