First it was Joel Zumaya, then it was Fernando Rodney. Twice now Detroit Tiger relief pitchers have made plays that would have earned the scorn of any coach in Shoreview Area Youth Baseball. I should know, since I've been one. If you saw last night's game, you are aware that Fernando Rodney fielded a routine ground ball, threw to first and launched the ball about 20 feet over the first baseman's head, setting up a Cardinal rally that turned a 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 lead, as the Cardinals eventually went on to win by the score of 5-4. Previously, Zumaya made a bizarre decision, fielding an attempted sacrifice bunt and trying to pick off the lead runner at 3rd base. Problem was, the third baseman wasn't there yet, since he wasn't expecting the throw.
So now the Cardinals, who staggered into the playoffs with an 83-79 record, are one win away from winning the 2006 World Series. In fairness, the Cardinals are a far better team than their record would indicate, but the playoffs this year have been full of surprises. Unless the Tigers figure out basic baseball, it looks like the most unlikely result of all will happen.