7/30 You make the call
Did you miss the controversial slide by the Cardinals’ Matt Holliday that upended Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro in the fifth inning Saturday? Here’s the video.
The Cubs didn’t question Holliday’s aggressiveness but did contend he made an illegal slide because he couldn’t touch the base. The Cubs led 5-2 when the Cardinals had two runners on and one out in the fifth. Albert Pujols, who had homered earlier in the game, was intentionally walked to load the bases and starter Rodrigo Lopez then walked Holliday to force in a run.
Lopez was pulled, and Jeff Samardzija took over and got David Freese to hit a grounder to second baseman Darwin Barney, who threw to Castro for the force. Holliday slid hard into the shortstop, and upended him. Holliday didn’t appear to touch the bag.
Both Cubs first baseman Carlos Pena and third baseman Aramis Ramirez went to Cousins to argue, and Quade then came onto the field to join in the discussion, which ended with the Cubs manager getting ejected for the fourth time this season.
“I applaud somebody for going in hard and trying to break up a double play to end an inning,” Quade said. “My thing is, it’s not a legal slide to me and that’s it.”
When Pena and Ramirez challenged Cousins’ call, Quade knew something wasn’t right.
“They don’t do that unless they feel that it was blatant and was out of the realm of what’s legal and what’s not legal,” Quade said of the two veteran infielders. “The rule is there for a reason.”
Castro was lucky Holliday wasn’t wearing metal spikes. His left shin was cut and raw from Holliday coming in high on the shortstop.
“It’s OK, because he didn’t have cleats,” Castro said. “If he had cleats, he would’ve cut me because he slid hard and way out of the base. It’s not good. It’s baseball. He tried to break a double play.”
Two runs scored on the play as Castro was down on the dirt, trying to regroup.
“I assumed he was hurt and waited to see what was going on with that,” Quade said. “At that point, somehow [throwing the ball home] was not on my mind. The fact that it could’ve been a double play and we could’ve been out of the inning was on my mind.”
But they weren’t, and the Cardinals scored eight runs in the fifth en route to a 13-5 win.
Quade had said he would do his best to not get ejected in the second half.
“I was pretty upset,” he said. “It was a combination of the play itself and the importance of it at that time had me really upset.”
Said Castro: “He’s out. He didn’t have a chance to touch the base.”
Said Cardinals manager Tony La Russa: “I watched it on tape. He’s sliding into the bag. He’s in the vicinity of the base.”
Guess it depends on your point of view.
“I disagree with Derryl’s assessment that it was a clean play,” Quade said. “I think that’s why they have the rule in place. I don’t think there was an attempt at the bag. He got a pretty good piece of Castro as well. That’s a huge play, obviously, in the game, too, and would’ve gotten us out with a 5-3 lead. I disagree a bunch, obviously, and fortunately Starlin is OK.”
– Carrie Muskat