ANAHEIM, Calif. — There has been plenty of debate about MLB’s decision to expand instant replay this season — some in favor, while some love the human element of the game too much to allow replay to play a part.
If you’re on the side of being in favor of instant replay, Tuesday night at Angel Stadium provided a reason to keep the party going.
The fifth inning provided a defining moment for the Angels in which Mike Scioscia used a challenge that proved to be crucial in his club’s 6-4 win over Cleveland.
There’s the saying that runs are good any time you can get them and that was certainly the case.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, J.B. Shuck grounded into what was ruled on the field a 6-4-3 inning ending double play.
Scioscia decided to challenge and the ruling on the field was overturned. Erick Aybar was ruled out at second, but the replay showed Shuck to be safe at first.
The call was overturned and the Angels now had runners on the corners with two outs.
Two batters later Shuck scored on a two-RBI single by leadoff man Howie Kendrick to put the Angels up 4-0.
Although the Angels appeared to be cruising at the time, those runs proved to be crucial in a game that saw the Indians battle back from a four-run deficit to get within one run of the Angels, 5-4, by the end of the seventh inning.
"(Shuck) looked safe from the dugout but you have to get out there and get a better look on replay, but he looked safe," Scioscia said of his decision to challenge.
Although the Angels skipper is not overly concerned with his challenge percentage, he has now had three of his five challenges on the season successfully overturned following Tuesday’s results.
And Tuesday maybe the biggest yet. It helped the Angels get back to .500 on the season at 13-13. It helped starter Jered Weaver pick up his second win of the season as the team successfully added two more runs or the same amount of runs the Angels bullpen gave up Tuesday night.
Had it been this time last year or any other year in MLB history, the outcome could’ve been altogether different without the benefit of instant replay.
"Over the years, who knows how many plays have caused games to go in different directions so it’s nice when those calls go our way and we’re able to capitalize on it," Weaver said.