Brewers test replay three times vs. Royals
PHOENIX -- Brewers manager Ron Roenicke threw his first metaphorical challenge flag on Saturday at Maryvale Baseball Park.
Then he threw another. And another.
In the end, Roenicke was 0-for-3 on a very busy day, considering he had already managed three other games this spring that featured instant replay without challenging a single call.
With two runners on base, one out and the Brewers in the midst of a big first inning against the Royals, Roenicke asked plate umpire Allen Bailey to review whether an inside pitch from left-hander John Lamb had struck Brewers catcher Martin Maldonado. After a brief review, crew chief Ted Barrett confirmed the original call: It was simply Ball 2.
After the game, a 7-6 Brewers win, Roenicke still disagreed.
"The ball hit 'Maldy,'" Roenicke said. "We had a view that they said you could see the ball change directions. If that's the case, they need to change the call. But we'll get better cameras during the season, and not just more cameras, but better cameras. We'll see it better then."
Royals manager Ned Yost actually agreed.
"Quite frankly, I thought I heard the ball hit the batter's pad," Yost said. "Our replay guys thought that they might have seen it deflect off the pad, and I thought we might lose that one, but we didn't."
During the regular season, that would be Roenicke's only challenge. But these Spring Training games are meant to allow managers to test the new system, so he was also allowed to request review of consecutive calls in the Royals' half of the ninth inning, when umpires would normally have that discretion.
The first play was Justin Maxwell's infield single, on which Brewers third baseman Hector Gomez's throw was high. Maxwell was ruled safe, and the umpires confirmed the call.
The next batter was Pedro Ciraco, who grounded to third base with Maxwell running on contact. Ciraco was out and Maxwell was caught in a rundown between second and third. The Brewers fumbled one of their throws, and Maxwell slid in safely. Roenicke asked for a second look and was again denied.
Both managers seemed satisfied with the process.
"We're just practicing here," Yost said. "There are [four] cameras [now], and they're going to have nine, 12, 15 cameras during the season. Angles are going to be much more varied, and it's going to go a lot quicker. It's practice for us, it's practice for the umpires, so I thought it went fine."