Cubs get no help in first use of challenge system
BY GORDON WITTENMYER Staff Reporter March 31, 2014 9:39PM
Updated: May 2, 2014 6:31AM
PITTSBURGH — Rick Renteria wasted no time making history in his first game as a big-league manager, becoming the first to use the new replay-challenge system for umpires’ calls.
Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle later challenged a safe call on a pickoff attempt of Cubs leadoff man Emilio Bonifacio in the 10th inning.
The Cubs lost both reviews.
Renteria challenged a close play at first base in the fifth after Jeff Samardzija bunted into what was ruled a 1-5-4 double play. The call was confirmed, and Renteria lost his right to challenge future plays in the game.
Samardzija, who said he wasn’t sure when he crossed the bag if he’d beaten the throw, emphatically spread his arms to signal safe.
‘‘It was a combination of that and kind of what we were looking at [on team video equipment],’’ Renteria said of decision to challenge. “We were already in the fifth inning. If he’s safe, it’s first and second. I thought it was time to go ahead and give ourselves an opportunity and maybe get a call.’’
Hurdle’s successful challenge eliminated the Cubs’ fastest runner from the basepaths with one out in a scoreless game. Bonifacio agreed with the call when he watched the video.
‘‘I couldn’t really make it out myself,’’ he said. ‘‘I’m still trying to figure out what the clear and convincing evidence is supposed to be.’’
Bonifacio tied Jack Doyle’s 113-year-old record for most hits in a Cubs debut (four, including a double). He also stole a base but got picked off first twice, surviving one when the first baseman dropped the throw for an error.
◆ This was the Cubs’ first extra-inning opener since losing 4-3 to the Milwaukee Brewers in 2008.