The Chicago Cubs turned out to be two-time losers to the Pittsburgh Pirates with the inauguration of wide-use instant replay Monday.
Neither call would play a factor in the Pirates 1-0 victory over the Cubs in 10 innings, but it marked the first time instant replay was used in a Major League regular season game outside of home run calls.
The first regular-season challenge in the Majors came in the fifth inning when Chicago pitcher Jeff Samardzija tried to beat out a bunt with runners on first and second base. The Pirates forced out the runner at third and Pittsburgh's Pedro Alvarez fired the ball to first get Samardzija in a double play at first base, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
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Cubs' manager Rick Renteria argued that Samardzija beat the throw back to first base and challenged the call. The umpires went to video of the play and ruled that the call on the field was correct.
Instant replay would work in the Pirates favor once again in the top of the 10th inning. Chicago's Emilio Bonifacio had reached on a single and was taking a large lead off first base when Pittsburgh pitcher Bryan Morris tried to pick him off.
First base umpire Bob Davidson ruled that Bonifacio, who was nearly picked off earlier in the game, had returned safely. This time, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle challenged. The replay umpires ruled Bonifacio out.
"That could have been the change in the game as far as maybe something happening right there on the opposite side of things," first base umpire Neil Walker told the Post-Gazette. "It slowed the game down a little bit. I know probably fans weren't excited about that, especially late in the game without much action going on. They got the call right. It was just."
Hurdle said he was on his way to the field to argue the call when his staff urged him to challenge it.
"It's all new for everybody," Hurdle said. "Wasn't a lot of opportunities (in spring training) so we tried to simulate as many as we could mindfully, with conversation, the protocol we're going to follow."
Many fans were concerned that the reviews would slow down the game, but The Associated Press reported
Monday that none of the five reviewed calls on opening day took more than 2 ½ minutes.
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