ST. LOUIS — A crazy ending to the Cardinals-Royals game Friday night at Busch Stadium had players in the home clubhouse lobbying for additional instant replay to be added to the game.
The Cardinals lost 3-2 when Tyler Greene was called out at home plate to end the game after attempting to score the tying run on a pair of overthrows. But the call may not have been correct.
Home plate umpire Alan Porter ruled Greene out despite a replay that appeared to show his foot crossing home plate before the tag from Royals catcher Humberto Quintero was applied to his chest.
“I know it’s a close play but I thought I got in there,” Greene said before seeing a shot at the replay. “I felt like he tagged me up here and I thought I got my foot in.
“It’s a tough call but the call has been made. Just from my perspective I knew it was close but I thought I got my foot in there.”
Asked for his thoughts on the close play to end the game, Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse replied, “Close? … Until we get replay, you’ll never know. It is what it is.”
The whacky ending unfolded after Greene reached base with a two-out single and the Cardinals trailing by a run in the bottom of the ninth. Knowing Royals closer Jonathan Broxton is slow to the plate, the speedy Greene tried to steal second to get into scoring position.
When the throw from Quintero got away from shortstop Alcides Escobar, Greene got up and sprinted to third. Royals second baseman Chris Getz retrieved the ball but threw wildly to third, causing Greene to get up and take off for the plate.
Third baseman Mike Moustakas barehanded the ball near the Royals dugout and fired it home, where Quintero blocked the plate with his leg and applied the tag. But a replay appeared to show Greene’s left leg push Quintero’s foot back and touch the corner of the plate before the tag was applied higher up on his body.
“On the replay he was safe,” said Cardinals outfielder Carlos Beltran. “It was a tough call for the umpire right there and that’s why I’m a believer that replay has to be more involved in plays like that. The big thing about this game is being able to make the right call. As a player we’re just asking for that.
“We want the right call. The umpires want the right call. They implemented it in home run situations where if they are doubting a homer, they can go and look at the replay and try to make the right call. It’s not a bad thing to implement something like that in a crucial moment where it decides win or lose.”
When asked if he thought a replay showed a conclusive answer, the 14-year veteran said, “It was clear to me.”
Instant replay can currently be used to determine whether or not a home run was fair or foul, went over the fence or in a potential case of fan interference. Momentum has been building in recent years for Major League Baseball to expand the use of replay for plays such as the one that ended Friday night’s game.
“We play hard,” Lohse said. “It’s one of those things to look into and see how and if they can implement something because both sides play really hard and it’s tough when something happens like that.”
Said Greene, “Obviously a play that results in the ending of the game, that’s a tough one regardless of which way it goes. I think Carlos said it right. Everybody just wants it to be right, on the players side and the umpires side.”