8/23/2014 1:26 A.M. ET
Brewers lose challenge on force play at third base
Not happy with outcome, Roenicke says he'll seek further explanation from MLB
By Caitlin Swieca / MLB.com
MILWAUKEE -- A close play at third base in the sixth inning of the Brewers' 8-3 loss to the Pirates cut short a potential Crew rally, and the out call stood after Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke challenged the ruling.
Roenicke said he'll seek further explanation from Major League Baseball on the call, which would have loaded the bases for Brewers slugger Mark Reynolds if it had been overturned.
The challenge came as Milwaukee was batting with two outs, runners on first and second and trailing, 6-2. Rickie Weeks hit a bouncer to Pittsburgh shortstop Jordy Mercer, who threw the ball to third baseman Josh Harrison to force out Aramis Ramirez. Harrison struggled to find the bag as Ramirez slid in, but he was called out by third-base umpire Will Little.
Ramirez immediately motioned for a challenge, which Roenicke issued. Replays showed that Harrison was not on the bag when he caught the ball, and the crowd at Miller Park reacted to a replay on the center-field video board as though Ramirez was safe.
The crowd reaction turned to boos when the call stood after a review of two minutes and 33 seconds, meaning there was not conclusive evidence to overturn the call. Rather than having the bases loaded with Reynolds at the plate, the inning was over.
"I was just hoping the call would go our way," said Harrison. "I caught it and thought I'd stepped on the bag, but I stepped on dirt, so I knew I had to adjust quickly.
"It was probably one of those plays, however it's called on the field, it would stand ... such a tough play to call. Probably angles to support both outcomes. The more time it took, I'm thinking to myself, 'I don't think they can change it.'"
Roenicke had a stronger opinion of the play.
"Right away I thought he was safe, the way that I could see Harrison try to get to the bag, and especially with Rami's reaction," Roenicke said. "And then when I went out there, [bench coach] Jerry [Narron] gave me the thumbs up to challenge it, and I came back and looked at the replay and saw, yeah, we should've challenged it, and he was safe. That's what bothers me about the replay: If you're going to replay it, and if you're going to slow it down, you're going to get all these angles, then get the play right. It gives us bases loaded with Reynolds coming up.
"What I don't like is they told us they can piece together two different angles. Well, if you piece together two different angles, he's safe. And it's easy to see."
Roenicke, who visited Major League Baseball's Replay Operations Center in New York earlier this season, said he would follow up with the league to try to get an explanation of the call.
"I'm going to check on it, because I just -- I don't understand what they tell us. When we went to New York, they told us what they could do, and then they don't do it, so I don't understand that part. I do understand it; I don't get why they can't get it right.
The Brewers are now 11-8 in challenges this season.
Caitlin Swieca is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.