Less than 24 hours after an excruciating 6-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals in the one-game National League Wild Card playoff, the Atlanta Braves were back at Turner Field Saturday to pack up their lockers and head home for the winter.
Some players were still talking about the pivotal infield fly call by umpire Sam Holbrook in the eighth inning of Friday's game. The ball, hit by Braves' shortstop Andrelton Simmons, landed in left field between two Cardinals players. Holbrook, who is in his 15th season as a Major League Baseball umpire, called Simmons out, citing the infield fly.
The rule applies when a team has runners on first and second base with less than two outs, and a ball is hit straight into the air. If an infielder has a chance to easily make the play, an umpire can declare an automatic out, in order to protect the runners on first and second base.
Holbrook called Simmons out, even though the Cardinals' shortstop Pete Kozma had to run well into left field to make the play.
"In my opinion it's just a bad call," said Braves' pitcher Tim Hudson as he packed up his locker Saturday. "That was our opportunity to get back in the game. I feel like (Holbrook) made a bad call. You'd like someone to take ownership of it at some point."
The Braves also made three fielding errors that led to the Cardinals scoring four unearned runs, a key component in their 6-3 victory. One of the errors was committed by third baseman Chipper Jones, who is retiring this winter after 19 seasons with the Braves.
Friday night's loss spoils what was an excellent regular season for Atlanta. Their 94 victories in 2012 were the most since the team won 96 in 2004.
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Wednesday, May 22 2013 5:52 PM EDT2013-05-22 21:52:07 GMT
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