With only three games to go in the regular season, the Giants hold just a one-game lead over the Cardinals for the second spot in the wild card standings.
But, with how the Reds vs Cardinals game ended Thursday night, it all could have been shaking out much differently. The score was tied 3-3 in St. Louis as Yadier Molina stepped up to the plate with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and Matt Carpenter at first base. Molina smacked a pitch to left field that appeared to be a one-hop over the wall that caromed off a sign and came back into play. Carpenter sped around the bases and came in for the game-winning run.
The play should have been ruled a ground-rule double, stopping Carpenter at third base and keeping the score at three runs apiece. Reds manager Bryan Price sprinted to the umpires, who left right after the final run crossed home plate, as fireworks went off and the Cardinals celebrated. Price was later told by crew chief Bill Miller that teams only have 10 seconds to appeal on a game-ending play and his complaint was not made in time.
“That's ludicrous," Price said to reporters after the game. "I'll tell you, the San Francisco Giants, I imagine they'll be all sorts of upset about this one."
Price was baffled by the rule being only 10 seconds in the biggest time of the game as so much noise and distractions are going on.
“That's ridiculous. That's a game-ending play. And we're supposed to do something above and beyond what we do on every other play.
"How are we supposed to know what happened 350 feet away? How are we supposed to know where that ball hit? You can't hear the phone," Price said. "There's no siren, there's no something that's going to alert you. There's a ring that you would hear if there's no fan noise in the stadium. The place is too far away. You've got an umpire who is running down the line, the third-base umpire has the clearest view, and even he didn't see it. How are we supposed to see it from the dugout? It's a bad play."
A game carrying so many playoff implications ending in such a way, did not sit right with Price.
"We didn't get it right tonight. It may have cost us a game," Price said. "It may have cost the Giants a better situation for the postseason, not that I'm pulling for anybody. It can't be the intent of the rule -- 'Let's get it done as soon as possible.' That should have been a game situation where the umpire said, 'We'll come back out on the field and we'll take a look at it so we get it right.' That is not a requirement of the umpires to do. So they're not at fault here. But the rule itself is a bad one, and it needs to change."