Monday night, the Brewers gave up two runs to the Cardinals in the seventh inning to cut Milwaukee's lead to 5-4. Before anybody crossed the plate, Matt Holliday led off with a grounder to Jean Segura.
Segura had been struggling with his throws all day, and this was no different as he tossed the ball wide of Adam Lind, pulling the first baseman off the bag. The umpire ruled Matt Holliday safe, but...was he?
It's hard to tell, but it looks like Lind may very well have gotten his toe back to the bag before Holliday reached first. That second gif shows that Lind's foot almost definitely comes down before Holliday gets there, but doesn't give a great view of whether he was touching the base -- he may have gotten the foot down just in front of the bag.
The Brewers have been struggling this season, but they had a three-run lead in the latter-third of a game against the NL Central favorites, in those favorites' home opener. Winning the game would probably provide at least a small morale boost.
Despite that, and despite time dwindling down for Ron Roenicke to use his challenge, he decided to let the call go. If the leadoff hitter reaches first, they have about a 38% chance of scoring, historically. In this particular instance, the Cardinals ended up scoring two runs in the inning after Holliday reached base.
That wasn't enough to take the lead of course, and the Brewers did end up winning (though the tone of this article for the first five paragraphs maybe didn't make it sound that way). But, the decision not to challenge that call could have proven to be more costly than it was. Maybe it wouldn't have gotten overturned -- maybe there wasn't enough evidence -- but in my opinion, it looks like there was a fair chance. Lind also acted like he had touched the bag, as well.
So what's up with Roenicke not wanting to challenge calls? Is he pretty against the system? Last year, the first season replay was in use in it's current state, the Brewers challenged 27 calls, tied with the Marlins and Reds for second-fewest in the majors. The A's had the fewest at 26. The Cubs led the way with 57 challenges.
To be fair, the Brewers were also tied for the fifth-most successful replay winning percentage, at 62%. Here's the thing though: The only penalty for losing a challenge is the inability to challenge further. All in all, that's not so harsh because there tend to be so few key plays that would call for review.
In this case, the Brewers apparently saw the replay and determined Lind was pulled off the bag. Which, I mean, yeah. He was. But it sure looks like he got back in time.
Maybe Lind didn't, though. But we're Wisconsin sports fans. We know that replay calls can sometimes be wrong.
I'm not one of those aboard a Ron Roenicke hate train or anything. But his refusal to challenge that play is perplexing, unless he saw something we couldn't on the broadcast. If he didn't though, that seems like as good a time as any to challenge a call. It's a good thing it didn't come back to lose the game for the Brewers.