Replay officials play role in Giants’ sweep of Padres

AT&T PARK — In what has fast become the year of the replay review, it was only fitting that managerial challenges would play a central role in the Giants’ three-game sweep of the San Diego Padres.

“For the most part I do [think the system is working],” explained manager Bruce Bochy in the wake of a recent ESPN report that reviews are up 35 percent compared to the same point in 2015.

The qualm that Bochy has is with all those reviews related to slides at second base.

“We’ve gone a little overboard on that because it is slowing down the game,” Bochy said. “Now, it’s almost like a lawyer. You find a loophole. [Maybe] he came off the bag a couple of inches — even though it was a good slide. It wasn’t a slide that could hurt anybody. You could get called on it.”

Andy Green — Bochy’s counterpart with the Padres — understands the concerns about pace of play, but the rookie manager is also more than ready to lawyer up.

“From his perspective, from my perspective, we have obligations to our team to look at every single play and see what we can use to our advantage,” Green said. “We’re out here to try and win a baseball game in a competitive atmosphere at the highest level.”

With the sweep dropping the Padres to 7-15, the club needs all the advantages it can get.

“It’s our responsibility to advocate for our team in those situations even if it does slow the game down,” Green said.

Bochy’s main concern is that replay officials are still missing too many calls.

“I still don’t know how the one from [Monday] night didn’t get overturned,” Bochy said — still stewing a day later over the eighth-inning controversy when a ball off the bat of Matt Duffy appeared to skip off the grass on the way into Matt Kemp’s glove.

“The glove came over. The ball was against the ground. That’s a trap,” Bochy said. “So, I’m not sure why that wasn’t overturned to be honest.”

On Tuesday, it was the Giants who were the beneficiaries of a contentious challenge.

In the fifth inning of the club’s eventual 1-0 win, Johnny Cueto and the rest of the squad stood around unsure if they’d just gone down a run or if a replay official in New York was about to bail them out.

“That’s a huge play with the bases loaded,” Bochy admitted after the replay officials called out Jon Jay, giving the Giants an inning-ending double play and erasing the Padres run in the process. “I thought he was out.”

Bochy was confident in his challenge but it was just the kind of review that could have gone either way. Jay — nothing more than a blue blur as he raced down the line — appeared to hit the bag just as the throw from Joe Panik hit the back of Brandon Belt’s glove.

It was a call that no human eye could make in real time. And even with the help of a multitude of replay angles, a definitive verdict remained elusive.

In Thursday’s finale, an overturned call once again went in Bochy’s favor.

After Denard Span had been picked off at first base, the replay officials determined that the leadoff man had actually been safe. Thanks in part to that new life, the Giants rolled to a three-run rally in the first inning of their 13-9 slugfest win over the Padres.

Less than a month into the season, there’s no question that the replay review system remains a work in progress and that tweaks remain in need.

The good news is that the league will have an unprecedented number of opportunities to make them.

Winless in Seattle: What we learned from Niners’ loss

‘It was just frustrating,’ despite a good effort

By Al Saracevic
Niners face Seahawks in key game with postseason implications

The stretch drive is here and the Niners look ready