Bucs fan nearly costs Pirates on foul ball

Interference ruled after Hurdle's replay challenge, ending Giants' threat

Bucs fan nearly costs Pirates on foul ball

SAN FRANCISCO -- Gregory Polanco got all roughed up -- then he got an apology.

That's the way the Buccos' right fielder recalled his encounter with an enthusiastic AT&T Park fan who prevented his catch of a Buster Posey foul with two outs in the eighth inning of the Pirates' 4-3 win over the Giants.

"He got me on the arm, in the back of the neck .. everywhere," Polanco said. "Then he said, 'Oh, I'm sorry. ... I stopped you from the catch.' And I told hm, 'That's OK.'"

That exchange was prompted by both player and fan wearing Pirates jerseys -- although the customer's was old-school style, with "Bonds" on the back.

"Is that right? Then there's some depth to that guy," said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, who wasted no time emerging from the first-base dugout to challenge first-base umpire Bill Miller's call of "no play."

The ensuing replay review -- the first of its kind for Hurdle, of fan interference -- came at a critical time. The Pirates were hanging on to a one-run lead, the Giants having already trimmed their deficit with one run in that eighth off reliever Tony Watson.

Bochy on fan interference

"We know the rules. We knew the play was subject to review," Hurdle said. "Since the guy was in a Pirates jersey, I don't know if he thought he could make the catch and hand the ball to Gregory.

"At the end of the day, they got the call right."

So everyone was happy, with the possible exception of the spirit of the 2003 Chicago Cubs. Replay review came about 11 years too late for them. Remember Steve Bartman, along Wrigley Field's left-field foul line in the '03 National League Championship Series against the Marlins?

"Oh, yeah," Hurdle exclaimed. "Pretty much same play -- but on the other side of the field."

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer and on his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.