Pirates win after video review rules Marte safe at home in 9th
If Starling Marte was not a fan of instant replay, he is now.
“Yeah. Sometimes I like it,” Marte said. Then he laughed.
A video replay review worked well for the Pirates in the ninth inning Tuesday, when an out call at home plate was reversed and became a walkoff win. Marte scored the winning run in a taut, 2-1 victory against the San Francisco Giants.
With two outs, Marte whacked a fastball from Giants right-hander Tim Hudson off the Clemente Wall in right field for a triple.
“I knew I hit it very good,” Marte said. “When I saw the ball hit the wall, that's when I (decided) to go for third base.”
Second baseman Ehire Adrianza made a strong relay throw to third baseman Pablo Sandoval, but Marte kicked the ball out of Sandoval's glove and it rolled into foul territory.
“There was a lot of yelling going on,” third base coach Nick Leyva said.
For an instant, Marte wondered if he'd been tagged out at third. Then, he heard Leyva screaming for him to run home.
Sandoval scrambled to the ball and threw to the plate. Buster Posey caught it and slapped a tag as Marte slid home. Umpire Quinn Wolcott called Marte out.
“I thought I was safe,” Marte said. “My hand touched the plate before the tag.”
So did manager Clint Hurdle.
“We have a challenge, so even if it's a thumbs down, I have to roll the dice there,” Hurdle said. “It looked to me like maybe he stayed in. I didn't know for sure.”
The Pirates challenged, and a video replay review overturned the call.
Marte celebrated, fireworks were fired and the Giants walked off in stunned silence.
“It's a strange feeling,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “You have a euphoric feeling when he calls him out. A couple of minutes later, it's a downer.”
Hudson, who went the distance and allowed only five hits, said he didn't like MLB's expanded replay system in the first place.
“It is what it is,” Hudson said. “We have to accept the stuff that comes with it. We just happened to be on the wrong end of a call tonight, and it cost us the ballgame. It's frustrating. It's tough. It was a close play.”
Players in both clubhouses watched replays after the game. The Giants, understandably, were not sold on the decision.
“To me, it's a little inconclusive whether my hand is on his chest before he hits the plate or not,” Posey said. “That's just what I saw.”
Tony Watson (3-0), who relieved starter Charlie Morton to start the ninth, picked up the win.
Although Morton wasn't able to notch his first victory, the right-hander kept the game close by avoiding the big, troublesome inning that has dogged him all season.
Morton fired first-pitch strikes to the first 13 batters he faced. He had three-ball counts on just six of 30 batters in the game.
“I've done really well on first-pitch strikes this year,” Morton said. “What I haven't done well is put guys away or get the out in crucial situations.”
Working eight innings, Morton gave up one unearned run on three hits, walked two and struck out three.
“I'm always looking for that kind of start,” Morton said. “I'm glad to have helped out.”
Both teams scored a run in the second inning.
Brandon Belt reached on an infield single, stole second base and went to third on catcher Tony Sanchez's throwing error. Belt scored on Adrainza's sacrifice fly.
With one out in the bottom of the inning, Marte got an infield single, went to third base on Ike Davis' single and scored on Sanchez's ground out.
Rob Biertempfel is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.