ARLINGTON, Texas -- First base umpire Ron Kulpa admitted that he blew the call at first base in the fourth inning of Game 3 that would have finished off a double play for the Texas Rangers and instead triggered a four-run inning for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Mike Napoli was the victim. He had to come off the bag to snare Ian Kinsler's wild throw that sailed to the left of first base. As replays clearly showed, Napoli applied the tag to Matt Holliday's shoulder well before he reached first base. Kulpa quickly called Holliday safe, motioning to show that he had beaten the tag.
"I saw the replay when I walked off the field," Kulpa said, "and the tag was applied before his foot hit the bag."
Later in the inning, Napoli made a two-run throwing error and the Cardinals led 5-0 when the top of the fourth finally ended.
The NFL, NBA and NHL all make use of some form of instant replay. Major League Baseball does too, but will only stop play to consult a video replay monitor to determine if a home run was fair or foul or hit the wall or was interfered with by a fan.
Kulpa's missed call at first was met with disbelief from Napoli and argued by manager Ron Washington, but no matter how many times fans saw that the call was wrong before the next pitch was even thrown, the umpires had no recourse to check a replay and reverse the call.
To that end, Napoli didn't hesitate to provide a one-word answer when asked if he is in favor of video review in the postseason.
"No," he said.