Jake Peavy only lasted four innings in Game 3 of the World Series, so he was out of the game long before chaos struck. The right-hander had a front-row seat for the ninth-inning madness, though, and he’s struggling to come to grips with how a game could possibly end with a walk-off obstruction call.
“I think it’s absolutely a crying shame that a call like that is going to decide a World Series game. It’s a joke. There’s no other way to say it. It’s a joke that call decides a World Series game that two teams are absolutely pouring their heart out on the field. There’s just no other way to say it. That’s the way I feel,” Peavy told reporters in St. Louis. “It’s a joke. It’s a joke. I don’t know how [third base umpire Jim Joyce is] going to lay his head down tonight. I don’t know. When you watch how hard these teams are playing in the World Series and what it takes to get here, what it takes to do what we did climbing back, it’s just amazing to me that it would end on a call like that that’s not black and white. I just don’t know what else to say.”
You’ve probably heard the story by now. The Cardinals scored the winning run in Game 3 when Will Middlebrooks was called for obstruction. Jon Jay hit a ground ball up the middle with runners at second and third and the Red Sox’ infield pulled in. Dustin Pedroia made a diving stop and fired home to throw out Yadier Molina, who was on third base. Allen Craig, who was on second base, started streaking toward third base, at which point catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia attempted to throw him out. Saltalamacchia’s throw traveled past Middlebrooks and into left field. Craig jumped up to continue home, but stumbled over Middlebrooks, who had dived in an attempt to reel in Salty’s throw. As a result, obstruction was called, which was even more crushing for the Red Sox because Daniel Nava would have thrown out Craig at the plate.
“You have two great, great baseball teams playing out there and you had such a great game tonight. This was a phenomenal game tonight all the way down to the final play. Guys just absolutely pouring their heart out,” Peavy said. “For it to end on a call like that, I don’t know how anybody can say, ‘Yeah, that’s the way it should have ended.’ Go find me one person who’s OK with that call other than Cardinals fans because their team won the game. That’s not OK.”
Each of the first three games has involved some sloppy defense. The Cardinals committed three errors in Game 1, including one by shortstop Pete Kozma in the first inning that completely changed the complexion of the game, and the Red Sox lost Game 2 because of an errant throw to third base by Craig Breslow. Nothing compares to Game 3, though, as Saturday’s ending is one that will be talked about for years to come.
“Yeah, I’m absolutely shocked that a game of this magnitude can be decided like that when, don’t you have to be in the base line to — it just doesn’t seem right,” said Peavy, who was clearly still trying to piece everything together. “Like I said, we don’t know the rule book hand and foot, but it just didn’t seem right there. That’s all I can do to just say that. I’ll leave it at that. … It’s just unbelievable that that happens in the World Series.”
The Red Sox can’t dwell on their crushing Game 3 defeat too long, as the two teams will get right back at it Sunday for Game 4. Peavy fully expects his team to be ready, even if this one is admittedly tough to swallow.
“I think you see what this ballclub is made of. We’re not going to quit,” Peavy said. “We’re going keep grinding out, no matter how many times the ball bounces the other way, and we’ll show up tomorrow ready to play. But this one, obviously, it’s a tough way to lose. That’s just a crying shame the way this one ends tonight. I hope MLB and whoever needs to takes a good long look at what’s happening here.”
Clay Buchholz will be tasked with getting the Red Sox back on track in Game 4.