BOSTON — Red Sox manager John Farrell hasn’t had much success challenging plays under Major League Baseball’s new replay system.
Farrell lost another challenge in the first game of Thursday’s doubleheader against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park. It was a tough pill to swallow, as Farrell and several members of the Red Sox wholeheartedly disagreed with the call on the field, even after the umpires upheld their initial ruling.
“One-for-5 is not a good rate. Yet we’ve got differing opinions,” Farrell said. “We’re challenging the play as it’s called on the field. I really don’t have any comment other than that.”
Thursday’s controversial play occurred in the seventh inning with the Rays clinging to a 2-1 lead. Dustin Pedroia was thrown out at home on David Ortiz’s one-out double, and the Red Sox challenged the play in the hopes of tying the game. But although replays showed Pedroia’s foot might have sneaked in ahead of catcher Jose Molina’s tag, the umpires determined there wasn’t enough evidence to overturn the initial call.
“I thought not only did Dustin beat the throw, beat the tag, but felt like his left foot made some contact with home plate,” Farrell said after the game, which the Red Sox dropped 2-1. “Our video internally showed that that was the case. Upon review, the call came back, it stood. (The umpires) felt like there wasn’t conclusive enough evidence to overturn the call on the field.
“We felt that it was close enough to certainly challenge and review, just watching his foot go across the top of the plate,” Farrell added. “The ballpark Jumbotron showed similar views. Our internal view showed the same. It’s gotta be conclusive to overturn the call on the field. We see it differently.”
Pedroia said after the game he thought he was safe, though he credited the Rays for a well-executed relay play. Game 1 starter Jake Peavy, meanwhile, was visibly upset and questioned if changes need to be made to MLB’s current replay system.