Third-base coach Butterfield ejected following review in seventh inning
BOSTON -- The Red Sox continue to have a tough go of it with instant replay, as manager John Farrell's challenge on Thursday afternoon that Dustin Pedroia should have been safe at the plate did not have the support of the umpiring crew.
The controversial play occurred in the bottom of the seventh inning of an eventual 2-1 loss to the Rays when Pedroia tried to score from first on a David Ortiz double that went high off the Green Monster.
Pedroia clearly beat the throw, but the issue was that it was hard to tell if his left foot touched the back end of home plate.
The call on the field by first-base umpire Toby Basner was that Pedroia missed the plate, and replays weren't conclusive enough to get it overturned.
"I thought not only did Dustin beat the throw, beat the tag, but felt like his left foot made some contact with home plate," said Farrell. "Our video internally showed that that was the case and upon review, the call came back, it stood. [The umpires] felt like there wasn't conclusive evidence to overturn the call on the field."
This left a feeling of frustration in Boston's clubhouse, as Farrell is now 1-for-5 on challenged calls.
"Of course he touched the plate," said right-hander Jake Peavy. "Of course he did. He slid dirt over the top of the plate. He got tagged after the fact. That stings."
Pedroia thought he touched home but wasn't quite as adamant as Peavy.
"I thought so," said Pedroia. "I haven't really seen the replay -- just what you see on the board and stuff. I mean, I don't really know what the rules are. I just know if you plow the catcher, you're ejected, out, then fined and suspended. So I think my job is to go as hard as I can at the back part of the plate and slide, and I did that."
Rays catcher Jose Molina, who applied the tag, wasn't looking at Pedroia's feet.
"I didn't see it," Molina said. "I catch it and just swipe."
If Pedroia had been called safe, the game would have been tied.
Red Sox third-base coach Brian Butterfield, who sent Pedroia on the play, was so outraged that he was ejected from the game.
"It's extremely frustrating when that decides ballgames, and we agree that replay is to get calls right," said Peavy. "That's the reason we agreed for this to happen. To not get them right, I don't want to hear anybody's explanation. I know what I see. You can't talk me into anything different when you see what you see. Dustin Pedroia was clearly safe -- albeit close, but clearly safe. I don't know what else to say."