Red Sox bitten by replay challenge again

Red Sox bitten by replay challenge again
April 18, 2014, 11:15 pm
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BOSTON -- Forget their average with runners in scoring position, or their on-base percentage from the leadoff spot.

When it comes to charting Red Sox statistics, there's one category that has been more glaringly unsuccessful than the rest: Replay challenges.

Manager John Farrell made his fourth challenge of the season on Friday night in his team's 8-4 loss to the Orioles. All four have failed.

In the top of the first inning, after John Lackey's first pitch of the game, Farrell came trotting out of the dugout to challenge the ruling that Nick Markakis' leadoff double was a fair ball.

Curving down the left-field line off of Markakis' bat, the ball landed in front of the Monster. Slow-motion replays, however, made it difficult to determine where the ball actually touched down.

"It looked pretty foul to me," Lackey said. "On the replay it looked like it landed foul and kicked some dirt on the line."

After a two-minute, 56-second delay, the play was upheld and Markakis remained on second base. He score three batters later when Adam Jones hit a two-out RBI single.

"I had a pretty good angle," said Red Sox third baseman Brock Holt. "Whenever it hit ground, I was like 'No. Foul, foul, foul.' Lackey came up to me and asked. I said 'Yeah I got that foul.' They looked it over and kept it fair so . . ."

It was far from a call that decided the night's outcome. As Dustin Pedroia said after: "I just get to see the replay like everyone else in the stadium. Did it hit the line? I don't know. We play nine innings. That didn't cost us the game."

But the Red Sox felt it was another tough beat by a flawed system. When it was suggested to Farrell after the game crew chief Ted Barrett or one of the game's other umpires could have walked out to the left-field line to check to see the mark where the ball landed, Farrell shrugged off the suggestion.

"There's really no need to go out and look because video is available to us," he said. "We follow the steps that are available to us and unfortunately the calls stand."

There seemed to be a feeling, both from Farrell and from Lackey, that the team is frustrated with the lack of challenges that have gone their way.

Farrell became the first major-league manager tossed from a game for arguing a challenge call against the Yankees in New York last weekend. He was also fined by the league for criticizing the system afterwards.

Like his manager, Lackey shared his criticism with the media on Friday night. He explained that the early break in the flow of the game didn't serve him any benefit.

"Definitely not ideal," Lackey said of the wait. "For sure. Especially them not getting it right. That's even greater."

He added: "That's kind of the way that system's been going for us."

The Red Sox were on the better end of a replay review in the eighth inning. Once the seventh inning hits, managers can't challenge plays. All reviews must be initiated by umpires.

When Holt appeared to beat out an infield single to lead off the frame but was called out by first-base ump Mark Carlson, Farrell popped out of the home dugout and expressed his exasperation.

After a one-minute, three-second review, the call was overturned.

"We got one," Farrell said. "But a little bit too late tonight."