The first ever regular season replay challenge is in the books. Cubs manager Rick Renteria did the honors in the North Siders’ game with the Pirates after Jeff Samardzija was called out at first on the back end of a slick double play.
The ruling from MLB’s instant replay warroom in New York? Samardzija was…out as called.
Umpires upheld, Rick Renteria denied.
Yes Chicago sports fans, Lovie Smith’s tradition of bad challenges lives on through Rick Renteria.
The replay process itself went smoothly. A short time elapsed between Renteria’s challenge and the ruling from the replay Batcave.
The game did not feel like it was being delayed at all. If all replays go so effortlessly, it will be a good system.
Now managers just have to get down their strategy. Was Renteria right to use a challenge relatively early in the game?
Well, the Cubs did have two men on and no out at the time of Samardzija’s terrible bunt leading to the double play. Had Renteria won the challenge, there would have been two on and one out instead of one on and two out.
So yeah, I think it was a smart challenge. With the score 0-0 at the time, it was a crucial situation.
No faulting Renteria’s decision to challenge there. The result just wasn’t what he was hoping for.