Cardinals superstar Albert Pujols took a lot of heat for getting doubled off with a runner at third and one out on a fly to short right in the Cardinals Sunday game against the Rockies.
Well, it would appear that The Mang did the right thing in taking off for second base. Photos taken by a fan would seem to indicate that Colorado second baseman Clint Barmes amazing play wasn't so amazing after all... Mostly because he didn't catch the ball.
Photos from the Denver Post clearly showed that Barmed bobbled the ball on the way down. But they were inconclusive as to whether he regained control before it hit the ground. The phot shot by a fan, seen above, clearly shows the ball laying on the grass as Barmes reaches for it while acting as if he is cradling the ball against his chest.
Instead of Albert ending the inning with a double play, by scooting to second Pujols should have been called safe, the runner would have almost certainly been safe at first and Julio Lugo would have scampered home with the tying run. There would have been two on and probably only one out in a tie game instead of a one-run Cardinals loss.
That being said, it is probably better for the Cardinals that the Rockies won the game, which helps pad their increasingly thin lead over the Braves in the race for the wild card. i would much prefer the Birds play one of the NL West teams than the Phillies or Atlanta in the first round...
Click here to read the Denver Post story about Barmes' phantom catch.
As far as the harsh talk about Pujols on the radio call in shows after the game I can only say... Seriously?
I gotta tell you, folks, even Ozzie Smith booted an easy grounder every once in a while. But you have to look at the body of work. Pujols went because he apparently thought Barmes couldn't catch the ball and he didn't want to make a force out at second. A bad call may have made him look foolish. But it turns out he was right.