Chicago White Sox runner Yoan Moncada missed home plate and was called out in a game against the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday after a long video review in which each team asked for a challenge.
The play happened in the top of the fifth inning with the bases loaded and the Sox trailing 4-0 in Milwaukee. With Moncada on third base, second baseman Leury Garcia hit a dribbler in front of the plate which Brewers starter Corbin Burnes grabbed and flicked towards home for the force out. He missed his catcher with the throw just as Moncada crossed the plate — though he clearly stepped over it.
Home plate umpire Jeremie Rehak made a safe signal, apparently missing the miss by Moncada. After a mound visit with Burnes, manager Craig Counsell decided to challenge the play. Moncada was ruled out but then Sox manager Tony La Russa asked for a rules challenge of his own.
La Russa previously worked with the league on video review rules and thought the Brewers had violated procedures.
“We were always looking at things teams would do that would increase the number of seconds or minutes they had to make the call,” he explained after the 6-1 loss. “One of them was a trip to the mound. I said ‘something isn’t right here.'”
La Russa told the umpires he thought video challenges could not be instituted after a mound visit.
“They said that’s not true,” La Russa stated.
The other issue was Rehak’s safe call. If a runner isn’t tagged at home nor touches the plate, the umpire isn’t supposed to make a call at all. It could have impacted Moncada’s actions as he went back to the dugout instead of trying to touch home plate, assuming he was safe.
La Russa indicated it was still Moncada’s responsibility no matter what the umpire did.
“If he knew he missed it, he should have gone back and touched it,” La Russa said. “The umpire said safe so he assumed he had touched it.”
The play made a big difference in the game. Instead of 4-1, bases still loaded and no outs. the score remained 4-0 with one out. Burnes forced in a run when he walked the next batter but that’s all the runs the White Sox would score.
Afterward, Moncada didn’t make any excuses for his gaffe. “I missed home plate,” he said through an interpreter. “I thought I stepped [on it] but obviously I didn’t. “It was my fault. It happened.”