Series finale needs four replay reviews
A unique review and three overturned calls highlight wacky game
ATLANTA -- Talk about a seventh-inning stretch. When all was said and done in the bottom of the seventh, two reviews and three pitching changes -- one botched -- made for a 47-minute frame for the Braves and the Brewers on Thursday night at Turner Field.
The madness began when Gerald Laird hit a sharp grounder that bounced off the glove of third baseman Mark Reynolds and rolled to the edge of the outfield grass, resulting in an RBI double to cut Milwaukee's lead to 4-3. Braves trainers came out to check on Laird, who would stay in the game.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke then tried to make two substitutions. One went off without a hitch as Jeff Bianchi replaced Scooter Gennett at second base. The other, however, caused a great deal of confusion.
Left-hander Zach Duke had been warming up, but Roenicke instead called for lefty Will Smith. Smith came into the game and was told he could throw only eight warm-up pitches once he came out of the bullpen cold. The crew chief initiated a review for record keeping and a rules check to determine how many warm-up pitches Smith was allowed. After the review, it was determined that Smith was only allowed eight warm-up pitches.
Once Smith took the mound and the game resumed around 10 minutes later, Doumit singled up the middle to plate two runs as the Braves took a 5-4 lead. Jason Heyward then came to the plate and hit a sharp grounder to Bianchi, who stabbed it and glove-flipped the ball to shortstop Jean Segura at second for the out. But Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez came out of the dugout to issue a challenge.
After three minutes and 12 seconds, umpires overturned a call at second base for the second time in the game, ruling Doumit safe at second as Segura's foot was not on the base when he gloved the ball.
The inning appeared headed for more excitement as Smith walked B.J. Upton to load the bases, but the lefty struck out Freddie Freeman, and Rob Wooten came in from the bullpen without a hitch and struck out Justin Upton looking to end the mayhem.
The Brewers also successfully challenged a call at second base to earn an inning-ending double play in the bottom of the second inning, which was the first review of the game.
A fourth and final review took place in the eighth when Chris Johnson hit a line drive to Brewers center fielder Logan Schafer. The ball was ruled a catch on the trap play, but Gonzalez challenged the ruling, and the call was overturned.
Joe Morgan is an associate reporter at MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.