As misguided analysis goes, it may not quite rank up there when John Madden advising the Patriots to take a knee and go to overtime in the final minute of the 2001 Super Bowl.
But it's close.
When Allen Craig singled with one out in the ninth -- and it was just a single because Craig, hobbled by a bad foot, could only make it to first base on a shot off the right-field wall -- the Cardinals sent in speed demon Kolten Wong to pinch-run. And when Mike Napoli began to hold Wong at first, Fox Sports' Tim McCarver wanted to know why.
"His run doesn't mean anything," said McCarver, noting that the Red Sox were ahead by two, 4-2. "He doesn't matter."
Well . . .
With two outs, Koji Uehara made a quick throw to first. Wong seemed to lose his footing a bit as he attempted to get back. He dove, Napoli slapped on the tag, he was out . . . and Game 4 was over. No postseason game in the history of baseball had ever ended on a pickoff, but this one did.
"The game's not supposed to end that way," Jonny Gomes, whose three-run homer provided the winning runs, said afterwards.
And had Napoli not been holding him on, obviously, the inning would have continued.
Wong, his eyes red after the game, took full responsibility.
"I just got a little too far off and my back foot slipped out," Wong said. "He just made a good throw. I slipped and that's it."
"He was reminded once he got on base, and also he was reminded that the run didn't mean much, be careful, shorten up," said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny. "And he got a little extra, then he slipped and the slip cost him."
Wong said he had no intention of trying to steal second.
"Not at all. I was just getting ready, getting aggressive," he said. "It was a hitting situation. Carlos [Beltran, the batter at the plate at the time of the pickoff], he can drive the ball. If that ball got down somewhere, I was hoping to go first to third, maybe score."
So now we've had one game end on an obstruction call and another end on a pickoff.