Perhaps if the Beatles tune "Get Back" had been playing in Kolten Wong's head the Cardinals rookie would not have been picked off first base to end Game 4 of the World Series.
One night after the Cardinals won Game 3 on an a defensive obstruction call, the Red Sox evened the Series at two games apiece with the help of a boneheaded play. Down two in the 9th, Allen Craig came through in the clutch just as had in Game 3 with a 1-out, pinch-hit single.
After seeing Craig struggle to run on an injured foot the night before, manager Mike Matheny replaced him with Wong, the rookie who appeared in 32 games this season. After Uehara retired Matt Carpenter on a pop-up for the second out, Wong broke a cardinal rule of baseball and the game was over.
One of the basic tenets of baseball is knowing when your run is not important. In Sunday night's game the Cardinals trailed by a pair of runs, with the tying run at the plate. In this case the batter was post-season terror Carlos Beltran.
Beltran could have tied the game up with one swing of the bat or at least kept the game going by reaching base safely. Slugger Matt Holliday was in the on-deck circle when Uehara caught Wong leaning the wrong way. Worse than the play itself was Wong's reasoning, which totally flew in the face of logic (repeat after me, "you're run doesn't matter!")
"...I was just getting ready, getting aggressive," he said. "It was a hitting situation. Carlos, he can drive the ball. If that ball got down somewhere, I was hoping to go first to third, maybe score." 1You have to feel bad for the kid, who was fighting back tears when he spoke to reporters afterwards, but everything in the quote above shows that he wasn't follwing the directions he was given. Mike Matheny told reporters:
"He was reminded once he got on base, and also he was reminded that the run didn't mean much, be careful, shorten up. And he got a little extra, then he slipped and the slip cost him."Wong also said his foot slipped as he went to retreat back to the base and "that's it". Should be interesting to see what oddity occurs tonight as Game 5 is played three days before Halloween.
1 - St.Louis Post-Dispatch