PHOENIX — When should a manager challenge a call? That’s a crucial element of baseball’s new replay rule.
Make it at the wrong time, and it can backfire.
San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy found that out first hand Tuesday night in the Giants’ 5-4 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
In the fourth inning, the Diamondbacks’ A.J. Pollock raced home on a passed ball and was called safe by home plate umpire Eric Cooper. Replays showed Giants pitcher Matt Cain appeared to tag Pollock before the runner crossed the plate.
“He was out. I had him,” Cain said. “I saw what Cooper saw. He saw that it looked like he went over the plate but he went through the top of my glove to go over it. “
But there was nothing Bochy could do about it. He had used up his challenge moments earlier in a failed attempt to reverse a safe call on a pickoff attempt of Pollock at first. Bochy defended challenging the close play at first.
“If we think the call was not right we are going to challenge it,” he said. “It doesn’t mean it is going to get overturned. It has to be conclusive enough in their eyes. In our eyes it looked like he was out.”
Bochy already had been out of the dugout twice when he chose to challenge the pickoff play.
“What else are you going to do if you think they didn’t get the call right?” he said. “Unfortunately they are not all going to go your way or get overturned, but that is the gamble you take. Sure there could be another play but you don’t know that.”
Under the rule, if a manager loses his challenge, he doesn’t get another one.
The run cut the Giants’ lead to 4-3.