Controversy follows infield fly rule to Nationals-Cardinals NLDS

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Nationals manager Davey Johnson, in the big leagues since 1965, has seen plenty of infield flies. The call, in his view, was borderline. A bit more into left field and the possibility of a double play, the reason behind the rule, wouldn’t exist.

“Tough call,” Johnson said.

The call stood, after a trip to the home clubhouse to lodge the Braves’ quickly-denied protest, and instead of the bases loaded with one out, two men stood on base with two out.

Zimmerman wouldn’t mind the addition of controversy-sapping instant replay for the postseason, as long as it didn’t further lengthen games. But replay wouldn’t have changed this call, built around an umpire’s interpretation. Holbrook “absolutely” believed he got it right. Doubt never entered the umpire’s words.

“Anytime you have a ruling like that or a call like that, it’s a judgment call,” Zimmerman said. “Its been called that way a million times and not called that way a million times. It’s unfortunate that it happened at that time in the game. … To really blame the whole game on one call is kind of silly.”

As silly as trying to wrap one’s mind around Rule 2.00, where one man’s pop up is another’s infield fly. And the call, like the winner-take-all playoff, won’t soon be forgotten. So, the real winner, perhaps, was MLB.

“One game and you’re out. That’s nerve-wracking,” Suzuki said. “Maybe it’s a good thing for baseball. It gets a lot of drama at the end.”

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