Thu Jul 28 09:08am EDT
Houston Astros rookie Jose Altuve(notes), off to a hot start, lined a tie-breaking single to center against Mitchell Boggs(notes) in the ninth inning that led to another run after it took two crazy turns.
Jay, now the man in center with Rasmus having been traded away to Toronto, fielded the ball and came up firing, but his throw took a funny hop behind the pitcher's mound — where Albert Pujols(notes) faked like he would cut it off — and went off course.
The ball appeared headed for the backstop when it hit on-deck batter Jason Bourgeois(notes), who had moved into position near home plate — as major leaguers are taught — to direct baserunners. Bourgeois jumped at the last moment and the ball kicked off his leg, changing direction again for Boggs, who was backing up the play.
As Rob Neyer at SB Nation pointed out — never seen that one before.
Cardinals manager and legal expert Tony La Russa came out to complain that Bourgeois didn't make a big-enough effort to move, that the play should have been ruled dead and that Bourn should go back to third base.
"I didn't see him do a real good job of it. You just can't stand there and let the ball hit you, you've got to let the defense make its plays," La Russa said.
Umpires huddled to consider La Russa's objection, but denied it.
Of course, Bourgeois wasn't just standing there, but doing his job directing traffic. Besides, La Russa brought this all on himself by how he forced Rasmus out of town. I make joke! But really, Tony, what was Bourgeois to do?
"I honestly could not see the ball coming. I was so busy trying to tell (the runner) to get down, by the time I lifted my foot up it hit one of my toes," Bourgeois said. "It's one of those things where I'm just going to kind of be quiet and hope it goes our way and it did."
Yeah, Tony. The squeaky wheel doesn't always get the grease. Even old managers learn something new every day in this game.