Replay, baserunning gaffe thwart Sox rally

July 25th, 2021

MILWAUKEE -- Over the course of a 162-game baseball season, there will be good games, there will be bad games and there will be weird games -- games that feature twists, turns, strange bounces, fluke pays and luck of all kinds.

Saturday night was definitely a game that fell into the "weird" category for the White Sox, who saw their losing streak grow to three games with a 6-1 loss to the Brewers at American Family Field.

"There was a lot of weird stuff going on," manager Tony La Russa said. "Very weird and most of it was to our disadvantage."

The vast majority of weirdness came in the bottom of the fourth inning and top of the fifth.

Milwaukee held a 2-0 lead, thanks to home runs by Kolten Wong and Tyrone Taylor in the first and second innings, respectively. Taylor led off the bottom of the fourth with his second hit of the day, moved to third when Zack Collins made a bad throw to first on Luis Urías' sacrifice bunt and then beat a throw home to score on Rowdy Tellez's fielder's choice.

The Brewers added another run on a bases-loaded walk to go up 4-0 before White Sox starter struck out Christian Yelich to get out of the jam.

In the fifth inning, the White Sox, despite hitting just one ball out of the infield, loaded the bases with nobody out against Corbin Burnes, who had retired the first 11 batters in order.

Leury García kept things going with a blooper that barely went 20 feet. Burnes fielded it and tried to flip the ball home but was way off target, allowing to score easily.

Or so it seemed.

Moncada never actually touched home plate on the play. Instead, he planted one foot a few inches ahead of the plate while stepping clear over it with the other. The Brewers challenged the call, which was overturned following a review of 2 minutes, 40 seconds.

"I really thought I stepped on home plate," Moncada said through a translator. "It wasn't until the replay that I realized I hadn't. It was my fault. I felt bad that it happened."

That's when things took a turn.

La Russa, who earned his first ejection of the season a night earlier, took issue with the Brewers' challenge -- specifically, that it appeared to come after pitching coach Chris Hook had visited the mound and with Burnes already set for the next at-bat.

"They showed that he missed the plate, right? Well normally, you have like 20 seconds, and the guy doing their replay says, 'Hey, you missed the plate,' and you make the call," La Russa said. "But when you have that much time, which includes a trip to the mound by the pitching coach, that's very unusual.

"I remember when we worked on the replay, we were always looking at things that teams would do to increase the [time] they had to make the call, and one of them was a trip to the mound.

"So that's what I said. I said, 'Something isn't right here.' I thought we put in a rule, and maybe it's not there anymore, that you couldn't make a trip to the mound and afterwards make a challenge. They said that's not true.”

La Russa’s discussion with the umpires led to a crew chief review, which ultimately upheld the decisions to allow the review and to overturn the original call.

La Russa didn't fault Moncada.

"If he knew he missed it, he should have gone back and touched it,” La Russa said. “But the umpire said he's safe, so I guess he assumed that he touched it."

The Sox scored on a bases-loaded walk later in the inning, but it marked the second straight game they were held to a single run. Meanwhile, the Brewers hit four home runs, including two from Tellez.

"They've pitched well," La Russa said. "We got six hits. They got six hits -- except four of them left the park."