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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Tony La Russa got the call wrong.
In the eighth inning of a tied Game 5, and a tied World Series, the Cardinals manager wanted closer Jason Motte to start warming up.
Problem is, bullpen coach Derek Lilliquist didn’t hear La Russa correctly.
Over the bullpen phone, they thought La Russa only said Mark Rzepczynski. So La Russa called back and asked for Motte again. This time, Lance Lynn started to throw, even though he was only supposed to be used in an emergency.
The series of miscommunications wound up putting Rzepczynski on the mound against Mike Napoli with the bases loaded, a lefty-righty matchup that clearly favored Texas. The Rangers’ catcher delivered with a two-run double that sent Texas to a 4-2 victory Monday night.
Now the Rangers head to St. Louis with a 3-2 lead in the series. They are one win from their first championship, in part because of something that seems straight out of the “Can you hear me now?” cell phone commercial.
“It must be loud,” La Russa said. “I give the fans credit.”
Copyright Associated Press