At times, it seems that the only thing instant replay is good for is slowing games down. But on Tuesday, we saw the good of instant replay, thanks to an abysmal original call.

In the fourth inning of Tuesday’s game with the Atlanta Braves, San Francisco Giants lead-off man Luis González hit a flyball to the outfield that appeared deep enough to easily score Brandon Crawford from third base. Atlanta outfielder Michael Harris II came up with a strong throw, though, and threw Crawford out at the plate — at least according to home plate umpire Shane Livensparger.

The play was reviewed and quickly overturned. But people watching the game were left wondering just how it was missed in the first place.

There are two positive things to note here.

One, the correct call was ultimately made and the review didn’t take a long time. Even on obvious calls, that’s often not the case.

Two, this was only an issue because of an otherworldly throw by Harris. Crawford is not exactly a speed demon but 99% of the time, he scores easily from third on a ball hit that deep. That’s a part of the reason why his slide was so awkward and he ended up hurting himself. More often than not, he’s scoring with no drama and probably no throw. But Harris did a great job of building up his momentum towards home and then made a fantastic throw. Harris deserves nothing but praise for even making this an issue.

With all of that said, despite Harris’ great throw, Crawford was clearly safe. It’s hard to understand why the umpire standing behind the catcher and therefore, having his view of the plate being blocked, is smart. Regardless, that’s what happened here.

Bad calls on balls and strikes have gotten most of the attention this year, primarily because they can’t be reviewed and corrected. Still, even though the right call was eventually made, the fact that such a clear call was missed is not a great look.

[Just Baseball]

About Michael Dixon

Michael has a background in sports writing both online (Bleacher Report, Sportsnaut, Fantasy Baseball Crackerjacks) and in print (Sedona Red Rock News, Brentwood Press). Sports have been a lifeline passion for Michael and he continues to enjoy writing and talking about them.