Overturned call benefits Pirates in 10th
Cubs' Bonifacio initially called safe before he was ruled out on pick-off attempt
PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates are off to a good start on the field of play. Their manager is off to his own good start in the field of challenging plays.
Both the Bucs and Clint Hurdle are 1-0. Before their 1-0, walk-off win against the Cubs in the 10th inning Monday, the Pirates benefited from an overturned call in the top of the 10th.
With the game scoreless, relief pitcher Bryan Morris made a pick-off throw to first base, but umpire Bob Davidson signaled the runner, Emilio Bonifacio, safe.
Hurdle, who had yet to use his one challenge, made his way to the field slowly to engage Davidson, who along with home-plate umpire and crew chief John Hirschbeck immediately consulted the replay mechanism with the Replay Operations Center at Major League Baseball Advanced Media's headquarters in New York.
After 2 1/2 minutes, the umpires made their way back to the middle of the field and signaled Bonifacio out, ruling that first baseman Travis Ishikawa had applied a timely tag on his shoulder.
"After I saw the replay," Bonifacio admitted, "I was out. I didn't feel anything on my shoulder at first."
"That could've been a big change in the game for them, maybe lead to something happening for them," second baseman Neil Walker said. "It slowed the game down a bit, and the fans were probably not too excited about it, but they got the call right."
The Pirates became the second beneficiaries of a call overturned by Major League Baseball's expanded instant-replay system. The Braves were the first in their game against the Brewers, when Ryan Braun was called out after he was initially ruled safe.
But Hurdle, who had split his two challenges in Spring Training games, is believed to have become the first manager to actually make two successful challenges.
"I'm confident in these umpires' abilities. You're going to find out just how good they all are," Hurdle said. "We're all just trying to find out how to use [expanded replay] properly and efficiently to advance the game."
Remarkably, it was the first batter Morris has picked off in his 61 big league games.
"There've been a few times in the past where I thought I had the guy picked off," Morris said. "But in the past, he's [called] safe and that's it. It worked out in our favor."
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.