'We missed it,' Counsell concedes, after odd HR

No challenge from Brewers after Cards' Grichuk passes Moss on trot

April 14th, 2016

ST. LOUIS -- Up in the press box, the official scorer saw it and prepared to announce a revised call. In the Cardinals' dugout, manager Mike Matheny saw it, and summoned his young outfielder for a word.

But in the Brewers' dugout, "our eyes all missed it," manager Craig Counsell conceded, which explains why Counsell did not challenge whether the Cardinals' Randal Grichuk passed the preceding baserunner, Brandon Moss, on his way around the bases after hitting a two-run home run in St. Louis' 7-0 win over the Brewers on Thursday.

"The umpires missed it, the video guys didn't get it until [it was] too late," Counsell said. "We just missed it."

It happened in the fifth inning, when Brewers center fielder Keon Broxton attempted a leaping catch at the wall of Grichuk's deep drive off Wily Peralta, only to see the baseball pop out of the palm of his glove for a two-run home run and a 5-0 Cardinals lead.

At the same time, Moss, who had reached on a walk, retreated to first to tag up in the event Broxton came down with a catch. Grichuk, watching the play unfold in center field, appeared to briefly pass Moss just around first base before the runners sorted themselves out and trotted around the bases.

"It happened, basically, at the exact time that the ball went off Keon's glove," Counsell said. "So your eyes are on [the play]. It's kind of a lesson for us all that we have to commit a set of eyes to that."

First base umpire John Hirschbeck could have applied Rule 5.09(b)(9), which states Grichuk would have been called out had Hirschbeck ruled he passed a live runner on the basepath. Had it been enforced, Grichuk's hit would have been scored an RBI single, with Brewers first baseman Jonathan Lucroy credited with a putout even though the ball was hit more than 400 feet.

Up in the press box, official scorer Gary Mueller prepared to announce all of those details. But the Brewers never challenged.

"It's on us," Counsell said. "I do think [Hirschbeck] missed the call, but with replay, we have the same power that he does, in a sense."

Matheny and Grichuk opted not to admit that Grichuk passed Moss, saying only it was "close."

"I have to watch the film on that one," Grichuk said with a grin. "A little too close."

He continued, "You're kind of in auto-drive. I'm jogging because, obviously, you don't want to pass him. You're taught on deep fly balls like that to tag up. It was one of those in-between [plays]."

Matheny chalked it up to an "unusual play."

"We asked ourselves in the line of coaches who have been around a while, 'Have you ever felt like you had to stop before you got to first base before?' And none of us could come up with one time in our career where that had to happen," Matheny said. "That's an oddity. Randal hits the ball really high and gets to where he's going really fast, and it's a weird mix.

"There's something to be learned there, for sure. Randal didn't necessarily do anything out of the norm, and neither did Moss. Moss made the right play. It could have bit us."