Atlanta Braves fans trashed the field Friday night over a disputed infield fly call, leading to a 19-minute delay in action. They eventually lost, 6-3, but the controversy over this one will not end for some time.
Trailing 6-3 in the eighth, the Braves notified the officials they were completing the game under protest.
The Braves appeared to catch a break when a fly ball to short left field dropped between St. Louis shortstop Pete Kozma and left fielder Matt Holliday after a mix-up over who had it.
But just before the ball dropped, left field umpire Sam Holbrook signaled an automatic out because of the infield fly rule, designed to prevent a team from intentionally dropping a popup in order to get extra outs with more than one runner on base.
Instead of Atlanta having the bases loaded with one out, Andrelton Simmons was called out. The fans immediately started hurling cups, bottles and trash, covering the field and causing the lengthy delay.
When play resumed, the Braves did not score again and left the field disappointed and disgusted that their season was over.
And while the call might have been costly, more costly were the three errors the Braves committed.
The Cardinals advanced to a Division Series against Washington that starts Sunday in large part because of careless defense.
The Braves had three errors, none more costly than a wild throw by Chipper Jones, who was playing in what would turn out to be his last game. The run helped facilitate a the three-run fourth inning that was huge in the NL’s first wild-card playoff game.