CINCINNAT -- Cardinals shortstop Ryan Theriot was ejected in the bottom of the sixth inning on Sunday after arguing a call with second-base umpire Mike Muchlinski during a 3-1 loss to the Reds.
Down, 1-0, with one out and a runner on first, Cincinnati's Joey Votto hit a chopper to second baseman Skip Schumaker, who tried to get a forceout by throwing to Theriot. Schumaker's throw was high and to the right of the bag, and Muchlinski ruled that Theriot's right foot came off the base before he corralled the ball.
"I understand that it's a tough play to call, it really is," Theriot said after the game. "But, in saying that, you've got to be 100 percent sure, especially in that situation."
Theriot immediately stormed over to Muchlinski to argue. The shortstop had to be held back, initially by first-base umpire Chris Guccione, then by Albert Pujols.
Theriot said he was trying to drag his foot across the bag, from one corner to the other. After watching replays in the clubhouse, he remained adamant that Muchlinski blew the call.
"I just felt pretty strongly about the fact that I was on the base and dragged my foot across the base and literally watched my foot drag across the base," he said.
Zack Cozart, the player who was ruled safe at second, actually over slid the base. But Theriot's first move was toward the umpire, allowing Cozart to return to the bag. Cozart later scored after a pair of wild pitches by Jaime Garcia.
Right fielder Lance Berkman said Muchlinski's call swung the game in Cincinnati's favor.
"It was a huge blown call that went against us," he said. "You never know how that game is going to play out if we get out of that inning and we're still up, 1-0."