Yanks' winning challenge leads to key run
Farrell ejected for arguing, says replay was inconclusive
NEW YORK -- The Yankees successfully challenged a fourth-inning call at first base on Sunday, as a video review determined Francisco Cervelli to be safe at first base on a run-scoring fielder's choice.
It was a decision that irked Red Sox manager John Farrell, who believed that the replay was inconclusive and was immediately ejected from the game by first-base umpire Bob Davidson.
With a second replay going against the Red Sox in as many contests, Farrell left Yankee Stadium questioning baseball's rollout of video review, saying that "it's hard to have any faith in the system."
"We felt that it was clear that the replay was inconclusive," Farrell said.
The play transpired with with one out and runners at the corners for New York. Cervelli chopped a ground ball to third baseman Ryan Roberts, who fired to Jonathan Herrera to force out the Yanks' Kelly Johnson at second base.
Herrera threw on to first base, where Davidson ruled Cervelli out on a bang-bang play to end the inning. Yankees manager Joe Girardi immediately charged out of the first-base dugout to challenge the call, getting the thumbs-up from bench coach Tony Pena and baseball operations assistant Brett Weber.
In a bizarre scene, the umpires strapped on headsets near the third-base dugout while Cervelli writhed in discomfort on the ground beyond the first-base bag, having injured his right hamstring while running down the baseline.
The overturned call restored Cervelli to first base, where he was replaced by pinch-runner Ichiro Suzuki. The call credited the Yankees with a run scored by Brian McCann, who had been coming home from third base on Cervelli's ground ball, with New York taking a 3-1 lead on the play.
"It's good hustle by Cervy," Girardi said. "Unfortunately, I believe we've lost him for a little bit. As we know, divisions and Wild Card spots come down to one game. That was an important run."
By rule, Farrell was ejected for arguing the call, and acknowledged that his protests extended beyond just the Cervelli play at first base.
The Red Sox were irked that a video-reviewed call went against Boston on Saturday, as the Yankees' Dean Anna was tagged coming off second base after an eighth-inning double. Despite still photographs that showed Anna's foot off the base, a video review confirmed the original call on the field.
Major League Baseball later on Saturday issued a statement saying that "a conclusive angle was not immediately available," acknowledging that the call should have been made differently and that Anna should have been ruled out.
That play did not come back to hurt the Red Sox, as they escaped the inning without further damage, but the run-scoring fielder's choice on Sunday stood as the difference in the final score.
"The frustrating part is that when this was rolled out and explained to us, particularly on the throw received by the first baseman, we were instructed that when the ball enters the glove, not that it has to hit the back of the glove, is where the out is deemed complete," Farrell said.
"At the same time, any angle that we looked at, you couldn't tell if the foot was on the bag behind Mike Napoli's leg. Where this became conclusive is a hard pill to swallow. On the heels of yesterday, it's hard to have any faith in the system, to be honest with you."