Ball caught in Wrigley Field ivy costs Cubs a run
Umpires send Barney back to second with ground-rule double vs. Reds
CHICAGO -- The ground rules at Wrigley Field are different than at any other ballpark because of the ivy on the outfield walls, and on Monday, the greenery came into play.
The Cubs trailed 1-0 in the third inning when Darwin Barney doubled to left off the Reds' Alfredo Simon. The ball bounced into the ivy-covered outfield wall and out of sight. Cincinnati left fielder Ryan Ludwick tracked the ball, but when it disappeared, he didn't reach in, but extended his arms, which is a signal that he couldn't find it. Barney kept running, just in case, and reached home.
According to the Wrigley Field ground rules listed in the Cubs' media guide, if a ball sticks in the vines on the bleacher wall, it's a double. Any ball that comes out of the vines is in play.
"We thought [Ludwick] might have reached in, but he hadn't," Chicago manager Rick Renteria said. "I think he was going to start to, and he ended up raising his hands."
Renteria didn't ask for a replay challenge, but did talk to home-plate umpire Dale Scott about the play. The Cubs manager apparently didn't want anyone to read his lips, and covered his mouth with his hat.
"I think sometimes I have conversations out there and I don't want people [to know]," Renteria said. "It was very cordial conversation. I'm realizing there are cameras everywhere now. Believe me, there are moments when I've gotten heated and [covered his mouth], too, for the sake of bleeping."
Third-base umpire Trip Gibson made the call, and he, Scott and the other umpires conferred. After a brief conversation, they agreed Ludwick followed protocol, and Barney went back to second on a ground-rule double.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, that's where he stayed. Jeff Samardzija popped up on a bunt attempt, and then broke his bat over his leg in frustration, and Chris Coghlan and Justin Ruggiano both flew out to center to strand Barney.
"If [Ludwick] doesn't reach, I might pull up, but he started to reach," Barney said. "He started, pulled up, and I just kept running. The ball disappeared and never came out."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.