First, let me give background on the IF fly rule for those that might not know. The situation has to be atleast runners on 1st and 2nd (or bases loaded) less than 2 outs. A pop up hit on or around the infield is an automatic out once called by the umps (usually immediately after hit). The runners are safe at their current base, or they can move up at there own risk (meaning if the ball is caught, they can be forced out at their original base, but if the ball drops, they can stay at their base or advance if they think they can make it safely).


There was an IF fly rule called with runners on 1st (Rolen) and 2nd (Pujuls). The ball was popped up to the pitcher (between the mound and first) who lets the ball drop intentionally. I've always thought this was the smartest thing to do on a ball popped up in the grass because not all players understand the IF fly rule.

What I thought might happen, actually happened. Pujols started running to third (thinking he had to go to third) and Rolen was about 15 feet off of first. So what does the pitcher do? He should throw to third or just run at Rolen to get the out.

But...NO! He throws to 2nd to get the non-existant force out on Rolen. Biggio catches the ball and tags second for the "force." Rolen catches on and goes back to first.

It gets worse. The Astros appeal the play at 2nd to see if Pujols left 2nd base too early! On an IF fly rule you can run at anytime if the ball drops (or at your own risk).

I was shocked with the lack of knowledge by Rolen, Pujols, Biggio, the pitcher (name escapes me). Then Gardner comes out to argue the call on the appeal!

They got one out on a play that could have been a triple play if there were no outs. Unreal.