Cardinal fans, time to get over Don Denkinger’s blown call in the 1985 World Series. Let’s face it, that call was one of the all-time stinkers, but it didn’t cost your team the Series. (You’re welcome Royals fans). However, Ron Kulpa’s call in the fourth inning may rank a close second in World Series stinkers, but time will tell if it swings momentum in the series…it’s a play I will forever call…the “Mea Kulpa” play.
Cardinals are up 1-0, with Albert Pujols on first base. Matt Holliday hits a routine ground ball to short stop Elvis Andrus who goes to Ian Kinsler for the first out at second, but Kinsler for some reason rushes his throw to first and it pulls Mike Napoli off the base. Holliday is still two steps away and gets tagged on top of the helmet and shoulder, takes another stride and trips over the base and Kulpa calls him safe.
Instead of two outs and the bases empty, Holliday is on first with one out. From that point on, the Rangers unraveled a bit.
After the game, the St. Louis native Kulpa, who still lives in the area said: “I saw a replay when I walked off the field, and the tag was applied before his foot hit the bag.” As far as being from St. Louis? “Has nothing to do with it,” Kulpa said.
The Cardinals quickly scored four times, but had the right call been made, many could argue the score should have been 1-0.
Even after Lance Berkman singled, David Freese doubled and Berkman stayed at third. The Rangers walked Yadier Molina and Jon Jay hit a slow tapper to first baseman Mike Napoli. Instead of rushing his throw home, he would have stepped on first to end the rally. However, it did not work out that way for Texas. Napoli’s throw was well wide of home plate, two runs scored and the Cardinals tacked on two more to open a 5-0 lead.
As it turned out, the Cardinals wouldn’t have needed those runs, but the great debate in Arlington will be, what could have been had Texas taken a 3-1 lead after the fourth instead of trailing 5-3. Hmm, Cardinal fans can relate. Ironically, the score at the time of Denkinger’s call…1-0 Cardinals.