La Russa was tossed in the seventh after Jason Marquis walked Lance Berkman to load the bases with one out. La Russa completely lost his cool upon being given the thumb by Cuzzi, making his way onto the field and engaging in a fierce argument with Cuzzi. Crew chief Tim McClelland eventually intervened, but play was delayed while the tete-a-tete went on.
In the top of the eighth inning, St. Louis now trailing 2-1, with a 3-1 count Jimmy Edmonds decided he too would argue balls and strikes with Cuzzi. Edmonds met the same fate as the Genius. This Redbird team that was composed all year, lost all composure in this important NLCS game. The Cardinals would lose the game 2-1. They now trail Houston 3-1 with big game pitcher Andy Pettite heading to the hill on Monday night.
Edmonds and the Genius were just following a longstanding St. Louis tradition: meltdown and fight with the umps. The Cardinals are the organization that brought us the Joaquin Andujar tirade in Game 7 of the '85 World Series.
Following the ballgame Edmonds and LaRussa did the classy thing. They both blamed the Umpires:
LaRUSSA: Well, normally when you miss some chances like they had the last couple of days, it normally comes back to haunt you. That's why I say on the end, our organization does a great job of playing against the other side. We don't play against the umpires. Come hell or high water are we going to play against the umpires? Normally when you have chances like that and they don't capitalize, you steal a game or however you describe it.
EDMONDS: I've been playing this game for 12 years. I know what's going on. I'm not trying to get thrown out of a playoff game. I don't think I was adamant. I wasn't trying to do anything special. I was just trying to ask a question.
Yeah, they really have a classy group of guys in St. Louis.