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Dodgers' A.J. Ellis: So what if Cardinals' Yadier Molina missed tag?

October 12, 2013|By Bill Shaikin
  • Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina braces for the collision, and appears to fail to apply the tag, as Dodgers second baseman Mark Ellis tries to score on a flyout by Michael Young in the 10th inning of Game 1.
Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina braces for the collision, and appears… (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)

ST. LOUIS -- To a large segment of the Dodgers fan base, this was an outrage: Mark Ellis slid home with the potential go-ahead run on Friday, and replays appeared to indicate that St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina might have missed the tag.

It was, as they say, a bang-bang play. St. Louis right fielder Carlos Beltran caught a fly ball, then threw a strike to Molina, who caught the ball and braced as Ellis approached.

That play -- in the 10th inning of the Dodgers' 3-2 loss to the Cardinals in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series -- might have been challenged under the replay system expected to be implemented next year by Major League Baseball.

But Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis said the call was the correct one, even if Molina missed the tag.

"In the history of baseball, no one has ever been called safe on that play because they didn't tag them," A.J. Ellis said Saturday.

Ellis said he understood such a play would be subject to a replay challenge next year.

"That would be a shame for a great defensive play like that, the great throw by Carlos, and great play by Yadier at the plate to be overturned because of a technicality that he didn't graze him with the glove," Ellis said.

"I hope that's something that doesn't change, because that's an important part of the game.  When you're back there personally as a catcher, you're trying to secure the catch and you're not really thinking about tagging.  You're trying to hold on to the ball. 

"There's no umpire alive that I think would call Mark safe because he didn't get tagged right there."

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