SAN FRANCISCO — Bruce Bochy didn’t need a slow-motion, zoomed-in replay in the eighth inning last night. He had a direct view of Matt Duffy’s liner to right and watching live he believed Matt Kemp trapped the ball.
The Giants challenged but didn’t get the call overturned. Ultimately it didn’t cost them because the one-run lead held up, but it did cost Duffy an RBI and Joe Panik a run, and it made the ninth a bit more stressful. Bochy will occasionally check in with MLB executive Joe Torre to get an explanation when a call isn’t overturned, and he said he’ll do so with the Kemp “catch.”
"You can call and find out for your own good what it was that they saw or didn’t see,” Bochy said. “I’m going to check on this one — that was a trap. I looked at it quite a bit last night (after the game) and the glove came over it. That’s a trap. I’m not sure why it wasn’t overturned.”
The Giants have felt that way about two or three other calls this week, including a Denard Span stolen base attempt in the Marlins series. Bochy said his bigger issue is with managers who are challenging every close play at second, hoping to take advantage of the new rules regulating slides and staying on the bag.
“I think we’re going a little overboard on that because it is slowing down the game,” Bochy said. “It’s obvious replays are up. I’m not surprised by it.”
Monday night’s game lasted three hours and 47 minutes, and while Bochy was responsible for part of that with his late-game pitching changes, the replays took up a considerable chunk of time. The replay of the missed stolen base earlier on this homestand lasted more than three minutes, and the plays at second have been particularly lengthy.
“Now it’s almost like (the manager) is a lawyer and you’re finding a loophole or if he came off the bag a couple inches,” Bochy said.
There’s been a lot of talk about this around the game this month, and you figure MLB will at some point get something done. The replay center on the West Coast should help (the umpires in New York last night were looking at plays that happened well past midnight their time) but the Giants haven’t been told when that San Francisco center will open. For now, the closest Bochy can get to a resolution is a call to Torre. Even that only does so much.
“It doesn’t make me feel any better,” he said. “I’m just glad (the call last night) didn’t change the game.”
--- The latest episode of my podcast is up, and Derek Law was pretty entertaining.