The St. Louis Cardinals hammered the Texas Rangers in Game 3 of the World Series on Saturday night to take a 2-1 series lead. Albert Pujols was incredibly, the Cardinals offense was on fire and Texas could do little to stop it. So much for all the close games in this series so far.
While we probably can't point to this one play as the beginning of the end, it does illustrate yet another point about the umpires. On baseball's biggest stage, the following happened in the fourth inning:
It may not have mattered in the end, but this was about as bad as it gets. Yes, the above gif is in slow motion, but notice Mike Napoli tagging Matt Holliday twice. Napoli basically runs his glove up the neck and head of Holliday. The only thing that would've made the tag more obvious is if Napoli knocked Holliday's helmet off in the process.
And yet, Holliday was called safe and eventually came around to score. Because of course he did. St. Louis scored four in the inning and its lead stood at 5-0.
Then again, the Cardinals scored another 11 runs after the inning and pounded the Rangers in a 16-7 win. Unless the blown call was miraculously worth a 10-spot, it probably didn't doom the Rangers on this night. It may have played a role in the ship sinking, but more it was more a reminder of how the "human element" can be ridiculously annoying and flawed at times.