Kansas City manager Ned Yost could tell he was going to lose his challenge, even before the umpires got the final word from the replay room.
Yost became the first manager to challenge a call in the World Series under Major League Baseball’s expanded review system, asking for another look in Game 4 on Saturday after San Francisco’s Joaquin Arias was ruled safe on a pickoff play at second base.
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The review took 1 minute, 47 seconds. In the meantime, Giants fans cheered louder and louder when the replay on the center-field video board showed Arias beat shortstop Alcides Escobar’s tag in the sixth inning.
"I looked at the replay and I said, `That’s not close,’" Yost said after an 11-4 loss evened the Series. "But it was worth a shot."
Crew chief Jeff Kellogg, who made the original call at second base, signaled safe after getting the word from umpire Jerry Meals in the New York replay center. Meals had worked the plate for Game 1 and the outfield lines for Game 2, then shifted to replay duty under MLB’s new seven-man crew format.
Yost was among the most successful managers at contesting calls this season, with 63 percent of his challenges resulting in a reversal. The average for managers was 53 percent.
It was 4-all in the sixth when Arias led off with a pinch-hit single and moved to second on a single by Gregor Blanco. With Joe Panik squaring to bunt, All-Star catcher Salvador Perez made a strong throw to Escobar.
Arias scrambled back to the bag, and his hand beat Escobar’s tag.
Royals bench coach Don Wakamatsu quickly checked to see whether it was worth a challenge.
"I couldn’t tell, right?" Yost said. "And Wak got on the phone and our replay guy said, `Look, this is really close. It’s worth a try.’ … You don’t have anything to lose trying it."
"It wasn’t as close as he thought it was. When I looked up there — you know, Wak said, `It’s really, really close. Let’s give it a shot.’ And I said, `All right.’"
Fans in the sellout crowd chanted "Safe! Safe!" and signaled so when the replay was shown on the video board.
MLB expanded its replay system this season to permit managers to challenge most every call except balls and strikes.
In the 2009 World Series, when umpires could look on their own to be sure, they checked a drive by Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez in Philadelphia and reversed their call, giving him a home run instead of a double.