05/24/09 8:24 PM ET
Replay again employed at Fenway
Youkilis denied a homer after call on Santos on Saturday
By Ian Browne / MLB.com
This time, it was a drive by Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis in the bottom of the fifth inning of Sunday's game against the Mets that was in question.
Youkilis hit a towering blast over the left-field foul pole and over the Monster Seats. Third-base umpire Joe West, also the crew chief, called it a foul ball. Red Sox manager Terry Francona came out to make his case, and the umpires then went to the television monitor behind the Boston dugout and reviewed it.
The Fenway faithful did not like the result of the review, as the umpiring crew stuck with the call. Television replays were inconclusive. The ball clearly started out fair, but because it soared over the foul pole, it was hard to tell exactly when it took a turn for foul territory.
"I thought it was a fair ball, and I guess the call was a foul ball," said Youkilis. "Luckily it didn't cost us."
In fact, the Red Sox went on to score three runs that inning and walloped the Mets, 12-5. Youkilis would eventually get his homer, a three-run shot in the seventh.
"I didn't think the camera had two good replay views," said Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell. "I still don't know. My gut feeling is that it was fair and it kind of hooked. We all went inside to see the replays and there wasn't a good shot to say it's for sure like this. If it was fair, I feel bad for Youk because nobody wants to have a home run taken away, but I think we'll take the victory for sure."
The Red Sox were hoping to have one overturned, as the Mets did on Saturday night. In that instance, with two outs in the top of the ninth, Omir Santos hit a two-run shot over the red line and off the little shelf that sits at the top of the Green Monster. The ball caromed back into play and was originally ruled a double. But after the replay, it was overturned for what proved to be a game-winning two-run homer.
In that case, the right call was clearly made. As for Sunday, it was probably too close to call, even with the help of technology.
"I just wanted them to check," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "I want everything to work our way. I think it's stating the obvious. I couldn't tell. I thought it was close, I thought it was real close."
Instant replay for borderline home run calls was put into play by Major League Baseball on Aug. 28, 2008. The past two days were the first two times it was used at Fenway Park.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.