In the June 24th Mets – Marlins game, the Mets won an unusual double challenge in their 5-3 win.
In the top of the sixth inning with the score tied 2-2, Brandon Nimmo was on first and Tomas Nido on second with no outs when Starling Marte ripped a ground ball to Willians Astudillo. The Marlins’ second baseman attempted to tag Nimmo, who was halfway between first and second, before throwing to first baseman Jesús Aguilar. Second base umpire Pat Hoberg called Nimmo out and first base umpire Shane Livensparger called Marte out. It looked like the Marlins had executed a double play. To be sure that Nimmo was out, Aguilar then threw to shortstop Jon Berti who tagged Nimmo.
But Mets’ manager Buck Showalter challenged both calls and both were overturned in NYC. Replays showed that Astudillo tagged Nimmo with the glove on his left hand, but the ball was in his right hand. So that tag-play was disregarded and overturned, and Nimmo was awarded second base. Marte reached first base before the throw, so that call was also reversed. Nido advanced to third on the play. So, instead of having a runner on third and two outs, the Mets had the bases loaded and no outs when Francisco Lindor followed with a three-run RBI double.
- When challenging multiple situations within one play, a manager has the right to challenge in layers as Showalter did. He challenged both calls at the same time.
- The Replay Official will not look at anything that isn’t specified by the manager. So, if Showalter attempted to challenge one call at a time, he would be denied his second challenge.
- In a hypothetical situation let’s say there was a two- out trap in the outfield and an illegal catcher blocking issue at the plate, both in the same play. If the offensive manager asks to look at only the trap in the outfield, he could not challenge the play at the plate.
- In that situation the manager should say something to the effect of, “We want to look at the trap and if it’s a trap, we want to challenge the play at the plate.” This would have the Replay Official look at the trap first, and if the ball was in play, he would then look at the play at the plate.
- The Replay Official can only react to what is challenged. If Showalter only challenged the out/safe call at first base, the best he could hope for is one out on the play even if the Replay Official observed that Astudillo did not make a legal tag on Nimmo.
- In the above play, you might ask why was Nimmo allowed to go to second base after he was tagged by Berti? The answer is by Hoberg calling Nimmo out he jeopardized the runner in advancing further. If had correctly called Nimmo safe, chances are he would have gotten up and reached second safely.
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