|Runners hold as the ball falls untouched.|
Oddly enough, had R1 Bernier held his position on first base throughout the play, he would have been safe.
|Gardy discusses the play with Muchlinski.|
After the game, crew chief Ted Barrett told a pool reporter, regarding the pivotal double play: "That one definitely had enough arc, but the fielder has to get comfortably underneath the ball to catch it. That's the criteria that wasn't met."
Gardenhire rebuffed with: "There was a reason he wasn't camped underneath it. He was going to let it fall."
Nonetheless, Barrett alluded to the three considerations for an infield fly (since broken out into 1+3).
(1) Indicator: The rule applies only to situations in which first and second are occupied with less than two out.
** The bases may or may not be loaded, only so far as first and second are occupied at time-of-pitch (TOP) **
[Plus] (1) The batter must hit a fair fly ball, which is not a line drive or bunt (OBR 2.00 [FLY BALL]);
(2) That, in the umpire's judgment can be caught by an infielder (pitcher & catcher = infielders for this rule);
(3) With ordinary effort (skill exhibited compared to league average [OBR 2.00 [ORDINARY EFFORT]).
As color coded above, Barrett's statement indicates consideration #3 (in red) was not satisfied.
This is hardly the first time ordinary effort has caused confusion amongst teams and fans. As the 2012 NL Wild Card Game's infield fly call proved, the "comfortably underneath" principle, also cited as "camped" in some... camps... seems to garner the most misconception amongst those not on the third team.
Wrap: Minnesota Twins vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 7/24/13
Video: Frieri fields the bounce, leading to a double play after rookie Bernier takes off for second (LAA)