ST. LOUIS — Good afternoon from the shadow of the Stan Musial statue outside of Busch Stadium. It’s a beautiful day here with people out enjoying the sunshine.
Lots of Red Sox fans in town and everybody wants to talk about the obstruction call.
After watching the play a dozen or so times, two things are pretty apparent:
1. The umpires got it right. If you read the rule and apply it, Allen Craig was obstructed. Will Middlebrooks didn’t do anything wrong or intentional but he did obstruct the runner.
Is that a terrible way for a game to end? No doubt. But you can’t ask officials in any sport to selectively enforce the rules.
2. Jarrod Saltalamacchia may have had a play at third. But the right thing to do there is eat the ball. Take the out and let Koji Uehera face light-hitting Pete Kozma. There are times to push the issue and times to take a step back.
Saturday night was a rough one for manager John Farrell. People will look at that box score and forever wonder why Brandon Workman batted in the ninth inning of a 4-4 game. Weakening the left side of the infield defense in a close game also was questionable.
The bigger issue now is this: Will the Red Sox play another game at Fenway Park this season? The Sox haven’t lost four in a row all season, the first team since the 2005 Cardinals to accomplish that.
It won’t be easy. A team so defined by its character and chemistry is about to have those qualities tested like never before.