Pirates-Cubs game brings first regular-season challenge in Major League Baseball

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The first regular-season challenge in Major League Baseball came in the fifth inning of Monday’s game. The Cubs had runners on first and second, no outs and pitcher Jeff Samardzija at the plate. Samardzija bunted back to Francisco Liriano, who threw to third for the force-out.

Pedro Alvarez fired across the diamond to retire Samardzija at first, but Cubs manager Rick Renteria came out to challenge the play. Umpires in the replay command center in New York City confirmed the call on the field. The process took roughly two minutes from the time Renteria left the dugout.

A change to the instant replay rules this offseason granted managers the ability to challenge close calls, expanded reviewable plays to cover almost everything on the field and established a replay command center at MLB headquarters in New York City. Umpires staff the command center and rule on the plays there, relaying their decisions to the field umpires working the game in question.

Manager Clint Hurdle challenged a play that was overturned in the 10th inning. Pirates right-hander Bryan Morris wheeled to pick off Emilio Bonifacio at first base, and Travis Ishikawa applied the tag, but first-base umpire Bob Davidson called Bonifacio safe. Hurdle asked for a replay, and the umpires in New York City overturned the call. Bonifacio was out. The next batter, Junior Lake, struck out to end the inning.

First Published March 31, 2014 2:50 PM

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