Another week of replay in the books, and another week of anger and rage behind us…well, until the next time we have a controversial replay call. On the bright side, the transfer rule is officially dead and buried, so we’re never going to need to hear about that again – hopefully.
April 21st, Reds vs Pirates – a legitimate game-changer.
This single by Devin Mesoraco plated one run to give the Reds a 5-4 lead. It could have plated two, but Jay Bruce was called out on this bang-bang play at the plate, made possible by a fantastic throw from Starling Marte and an unreal tag from Russell Martin. The Reds would go on to lose 6-5, and who knows what would have ended up happening if they got two runs here instead of one – hell, they would have had men on second and third with no outs. Instead, they got nothing in the eighth, nothing in the ninth, and went home soon after that.
April 23rd, Rangers vs Athletics – another first inning challenge.
Ron Washington was *not* the manager who challenged a call in the first inning this time – it was instead Athletics manager Bob Melvin challenging a play at the plate that eventually got a run taken off the board. Melvin must have known runs would be in short supply on this Wednesday with Martin Perez on the hill dealing for the Rangers, but really, it wouldn’t matter – Texas already led 1-0 at the time of this challenge, and the A’s didn’t get a run all game.
April 24th, Diamondbacks vs Cubs – wasting no time.
Kirk Gibson used his challenge during the first Cubs at bat of the game, challenging a safe call at second after a hustle double by Emilio Bonifacio. Bonifacio was ruled safe, and Gibson forfeited the right to challenge anything for the rest of the afternoon at Wrigley. Once again, it didn’t matter, since the Diamondbacks rolled to a 5-2 win…but my god, it’s the Cubs. Their offense is one of the worst in all of baseball. Giving them a runner in scoring position right away isn’t going to kill you. Bonifacio did score later in the inning, but no thanks to Chicago’s offense – they didn’t get another hit in the inning.
April 24th, Phillies vs Dodgers – more collision fun.
OK, if this play isn’t reversed on account of a catcher blocking home plate without the ball, I don’t think any play will be reversed this season. Carlos Ruiz was standing directly in Hanley Ramirez’s path to the plate without the ball, and Ramirez was still ruled out. In the old days, he could have just steamrolled him. Now, there’s no recourse, even though this isn’t supposed to be allowed. I’ve got nothin’.
April 25th, Reds vs Braves – a walk off replay?
Could you imagine this? Joey Votto grounds out to end the game with two men out, but the Reds challenge the out call at third base. Roger Bernadina kept the play alive, and would have been awarded home plate if the call was reversed. The fireworks at Turner Field had already begun to pop off. Imagine if Votto was called safe, and the fireworks went off for…a tie game. Thankfully for the Braves, the out call was upheld, and the fireworks operator breathed a sigh of relief.
April 26th, Rockies vs Dodgers – the timing play
I love this. Did Dee Gordon touch home plate before Yasiel Puig was tagged out at third on this apparent sac fly by Juan Uribe? Apparently not. The challenge itself is a good one that would have put a run on the board if reversed, and it wouldn’t have altered anything else in the inning – Puig’s out at third would still be the third out, but Gordon would have added another run to the home team’s column.
April 27th, Reds vs Braves – the ejection.
You guys know how much I hate first inning challenges, especially on plays like pickoffs. Bryan Price challenged this pickoff, and the safe call was upheld, mainly because the evidence to overturn the call wasn’t concrete. Price came out to argue after the review, and was ejected as the replay rules state. It’s silly that he was willing to put his neck on the line just a few pitches into the game, and furthermore, the safe call literally effected nothing – the Braves didn’t score in the inning, and the extra pitches that Cueto had to throw didn’t really matter, as he still completed eight shutout innings. Totally worth getting ejected for, Bryan.