OAKLAND, Calif. – A replay review that went against them did not stop the Indians from handing Oakland its record 10th straight opening-day loss, 2-0, Monday night.
Nyjer Morgan hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly and Nick Swisher added an RBI single in the ninth inning off closer Jim Johnson who was then pulled from his A’s debut.
In the sixth, crew chief Mike Winters became the first umpire to initiate a review under the expanded replay system, making the call after a collision at home plate. Winters requested the review on a close play that kept Cleveland from breaking a scoreless tie.
Winters wanted to see if A’s catcher John Jaso had illegally blocked the plate under baseball’s new rule regarding home plate collisions. Jaso tagged a sliding Michael Brantley, who was trying to score from third on an Asdrubal Cabrera comebacker that appeared to ricochet off the foot of pitcher Sonny Gray, who retrieved the ball and fired home. Brantley was called out and the call was confirmed after a 59-second delay.
The new replay system got a workout on its first full day.
In Pittsburgh, Cubs manager Rick Renteria was the first skipper to challenge a play, but the decision by the umpires was upheld.
The first overturned call came in Milwaukee. Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez challenged a sixth-inning play when Brewers star Ryan Braun was originally called safe at first.
From now on, most every call can be challenged by a manager. When that happens, the final decision will come from a replay booth in New York, rather than the field. And instead of out or safe, fair or foul, disputes will be settled with two words new to baseball’s lingo: confirmed or overturned.