(Boston) (AP) – It didn’t take long before there was a controversial call at the World Series.
Umpires reversed a bad call at second base in the first inning of Wednesday night’s opener between Boston and St. Louis, opening the way for Mike Napoli’s three-run double to give the Red Sox a 3-0 lead.
With Dustin Pedroia on first, Jacoby Ellsbury on second and one out, David Ortiz hit a slow bouncer to second baseman Matt Carpenter that had an outside chance of being turned into an inning-ending double play.
Carpenter made a backhand flip to shortstop Pete Kozma, who while coming back to the base allowed the ball to bounce off the edge of his glove’s webbing and fall to the ground.
Second base umpire Dana DeMuth called Pedroia out on a force, indicating the ball was dropped by Kozma while he was making the transfer to his throwing hand. Red Sox manager John Farrell came out to argue.
All six umpires huddled near shortstop to discuss the play, and crew chief John Hirschbeck walked toward the Cardinals dugout and told manager Mike Matheny that Pedroia was being called safe. Matheny then argued to no avail.
FOX played audio of Hirschbeck, who was wearing a microphone, explaining the ruling to Matheny on the field:
“There’s five of us out here, OK? And all five of us agreed 100 percent that it wasn’t a catch,” Hirschbeck said. “Our job is to get it right.”
Major League Baseball executive vice president Joe Torre said in an interview on TV that it’s common for the umpires to meet on the field when they have something to say.
“When they huddle, you’ve got more eyes on the play,” he said.
Three pitches later, Napoli lined a double to the gap in left-center.
Under rules changes contemplated for next season, calls such as this would be subject to video review.