Game four of the NLCS between the Cubs and Dodgers last night got a bit more interesting in the eighth inning when Curtis Granderson was at the dish. It was already a close game and the Cubs were trying to avoid a sweep to force a game five, and a bad call nearly spelled disaster at Wrigley Field. Joe Maddon called on closer Wade Davis to get the final six outs to keep their season alive, and with the score 3-2 in favor of the Cubs with one on and one out, Granderson stepped up.

Phantom foul ball

Davis snapped a 2-2 breaking ball that Granderson chased and missed to strike out, or so it seemed.

Granderson went to the umpire and argued that he got a piece of it and it went in and out of Willson Contreras' mitt, but home plate umpire Jim Wolf called him out. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts came out to discuss the call which lead to all the umpires gathering together to talk it over. The replay on the video boards and television clearly showed Granderson swung and completely missed the pitch, there was no way it seemed the call could be overturned.

After a minute or so of discussion, Wolf emerged from the umpire gathering and raised both arms up and called it foul. The Wrigley Field crowd filled the air with boos and hisses as Maddon stormed out of the dugout. He screamed at the umpires and repeatedly pointed to the left field jumbotron asking how they could possibly call that a Foul Ball, especially the third base umpire who was over 100 feet away from the play.

Also note the call was made without no official video review in New York. Maddon was then thrown out of the game.

Luckily for Davis and the Cubs, Granderson stepped back in and struck out on the next pitch with no discussion and the Cubs went on to win 3-2.


To nobody's surprise, Maddon was not happy in the postgame interview regarding the call.

While his team won the game he still did give the umpiring crew a pass on the matter. It typical Maddon fashion, he expressed himself in a creative way.

"That can't happen, the process was horrible." Maddon said, "To have that changed and if Granderson hits the next pitch out, I might come running out of the clubhouse in my jockstrap."

To credit the umpires, they admitted they were wrong.

Jim Wolf got a second look at the replay after the game and admitted it was indeed a swing and miss and not a foul ball. The explanation they initially gave Maddon is that there was a sound on the swing, like when a bat tips a ball, and that is why they overturned it. In the end it is a mistake that just cannot happen in a big postseason game because it has the chance to completely change the outcome.

Thursday night

Game five between the Cubs and Dodgers will be at Wrigley Field at 7:08 CDT. The Dodgers need one more win to clinch the pennant and the Cubs will try to get this series back to Los Angeles. Clayton Kershaw will face Jose Quintana.