Bochy loses challenge, then key opportunity
After call at first upheld, D-backs score on play at plate that could not be reviewed
PHOENIX -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy was denied in his first official 2014 challenge of an umpire's call, as the crew upheld a safe ruling on a fourth-inning pickoff in San Francisco's game against the D-backs on Tuesday.
Moments later, Bochy could only watch as the D-backs scored on a close play at the plate, having lost his ability to request further challenges. And because it was prior to the seventh inning, the crew chief could not request an instant-replay review.
"This is going to be a critical part of the game," Bochy said.
With Gerardo Parra at bat and two outs, Giants right-hander Matt Cain attempted to pick A.J. Pollock off first base. Moments after umpire Chris Guccione called Pollock safe, Bochy left the dugout to announce his challenge. The umpiring crew motioned for Pollock to remain at first base a little more than a minute later.
The Giants felt the sequence's aftereffects. After the call was upheld, Parra doubled to right, advancing Pollock to third base. With Aaron Hill batting, Cain threw an outside pitch that catcher Buster Posey couldn't hold, resulting in a passed ball. Posey chased the ball and threw it to Cain, who covered home plate. Cain reached across the plate to tag the sliding Pollock, who was ruled safe in a close play.
"That was just a weird play," Pollock said. "Buster got crossed up by a heater or a cutter or something. It was just really weird seeing that, and I thought it was going to kick all the way to the backstop. It was kind of one of those where he flipped his glove a little bit and deadened the ball a little more than I expected. Everyone is saying I was out. I kind of did a kick stop and hop over the glove there, and I kept looking at the replay. I didn't feel a tag and I kept looking. It was a pretty gutsy call by the umpire, but I think he got it right."
Bochy again left the dugout to argue, but he couldn't challenge the call because he already had exhausted that privilege.
"That's what you call a hang with 'em," Bochy said. "You can't do anything at that point because you've already lost your challenge. This is how the system works and you understand that. Would I have changed anything? No. You don't know whether you're going to get another call when you wish you could challenge."
Joe Garagiola Jr., Major League Baseball's vice president of baseball operations, happened to be in attendance and commented on what transpired.
"Yeah, that's what can happen," he said. "[Bochy] used his challenge, and because he was wrong, that's it, he has no more challenges. And until the seventh inning, the umpires have no ability on their own to even go look at a replay."