Cardinals stumble to Game 3 victory

Posted on October 27, 2013 

The Cardinals had a chance to blow open Game 3, taking an early lead and then putting runners all over the bases.

But it took a goofy play with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to seal the win after the Redbirds failed four times to drive a runner home from third with one out or less.

The last misfire came in the ninth inning when the Cardinals had runners at second and third with one out. With the infield in Jon Jay hit a ball to second base. Dustin Pedroia made a good play to corral the ball and throw it home for an out. But hobbled slugger Allen Craig hustled over to third base as the play was made at the plate. And for the second time in the series a game was decided by a wild throw from home to third base.

This time, it wasn't a clean play, however, as Boston third sacker Will Middlebrooks dove to take the throw from catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and laid in the basepath as Allen Craig tried to go home. Craig tripped over Middlebrooks and then struggled to regain his feet. It appeared that he had been thrown out at the plate. But the third base umpire immediately recognized the obstruction of the baserunner and awarded Craig home plate.

It's a shame the Cardinals couldn't come through when they had the chance earlier because not only would the game have been a lot less stressful. But Craig limped off the field, apparently because he aggravated the ankle injury that sidelined him for the seven weeks preceding the World Series. If the Redbirds could have hit one lousy sacrifice fly, that injury likely wouldn't have happened.

It was the first time a World Series game ended on an error since the ball went through Bill Buckner's legs in 1986 and cost Boston the sixth game of the 1986 World Series.

The play of the game was made by Matt Carpenter in the second inning when he laid out to his right to snag a grounder and then made a strong -- but wide -- throw to first base. Matt Adams made an excellence stretch to catch the ball and stay on the bag for the out.

Congratulations to Cardinals outfielder Carlos Beltran who was awarded the Roberto Clemente Award before the game.

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