Controversial Call Helps Giants Top White Sox, 7-1
Depending on the clubhouse, the response to the latest overturned call at home under baseball’s expanded replay system was as debatable as the rule itself.
The Giants scored seven runs in the seventh inning after the replay official overturned an out call at home because they said Chicago catcher Tyler Flowers illegally blocked Gregor Blanco’s path to the plate, and San Francisco went on to beat the White Sox 7-1 on Wednesday.
“We’ll take it,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
With one out in the inning, first baseman Jose Abreu fielded Joe Panik’s broken-bat grounder to throw out Blanco by at least six feet. Bochy challenged the play, and umpires ruled Flowers’ left leg was illegally blocking the plate before the ball arrived.
White Sox manager Robin Ventura argued the call and was immediately ejected, setting off an epic protest in which he repeatedly kicked dirt on the plate.
“If you look at the spirit of the rule of what they are trying to do and what it’s actually doing it’s a joke,” said Ventura, who unsuccessfully challenged a similar call at the plate in Chicago’s 3-2 win Tuesday night in San Francisco. “They don’t take into consideration that the guy was out by a longshot.”
San Francisco snapped a five-game losing streak as Jake Peavy (1-3) won for the first time since April 25 with Boston. Peavy had lost 12 consecutive decisions, the longest skid of his career.
Peavy’s friend and former White Sox teammate, Jose Quintana (6-9), took the loss.
“Catching those breaks, feels like I haven’t caught one on my day with any team I’ve pitched for,” Peavy said.
Adam Dunn hit his 19th homer of the season into McCovey Cove in the fourth for Chicago’s only run. It was one of just four hits Peavy allowed in seven innings.
Peavy even changed his uniform number from 43 to 22, which he wore for his high school in Mobile, Alabama. He wore 44 with the San Diego Padres, White Sox and Boston Red Sox.
Perhaps the new look changed his luck.
San Francisco took advantage of the new rule, 7.13, that prohibits catchers from blocking the plate until possessing the ball so runners don’t barrel into them. The rule gained traction after Giants catcher Buster Posey’s gruesome injury in May 2011 ended his season blocking the same plate at AT&T Park.
Blanco said Flowers was “definitely” blocking the plate but admitted it’s a tough call. Flowers believes replay officials need to have some flexibility when they make the decision.
“Apparently they are interpreting this extremely black and white with no context,” Flowers said.
The review lasted 4 minutes and 55 seconds, and umpires also allowed Adam Duvall to advance from first to third. But even after being ejected, Ventura came back out to challenge that decision. The play was reviewed again, and umpires told Duvall to go back to second.
Angel Pagan added a two-out, two-run single, and Hunter Pence and Posey each hit RBI singles. The Giants scored two more runs when center fielder Jordan Danks and Dunn also got tangled up in right-center going for Pablo Sandoval’s fly.
Quintana was charged with four runs and four hits in 6 2-3 innings. Reliever Ronald Belisario was tagged for three runs, one earned, and three hits without recording an out.
It was the second time this season Dunn homered off Peavy. The pitcher said if anybody was going to take him deep, he was glad it was his friend. “But I’m sure I’ll have to hear about it,” Peavy said.
White Sox: Pitching coach Don Cooper, who did not make the road trip because of a recurrence of vertigo-like symptoms, is expected to rejoin the team in Chicago on Friday.
Giants: Backup C Hector Sanchez (concussion) was scheduled to start behind the plate Wednesday with Triple-A Fresno for the first time during his rehab assignment.
White Sox: After a day off Thursday, RHP Hector Noesi (6-8, 4.67 ERA) starts the opener of a three-game home series against Toronto on Friday.
Giants: The team has a day off Thursday before LHP Madison Bumgarner (13-9, 3.22) takes the mound in the opener of a three-game series against Philadelphia on Friday.