ATLANTA -- It was more than Brian McCann's first walk-off homer. The Braves catcher's game-winner in Sunday's 7-6 victory over the Marlins was also the first time that Major League Baseball had used replay to determine what became a deciding home run.
"You have to be grateful to MLB for instant replay," said Matt Diaz, who had tied the game in the ninth with a two-run pinch-hit homer. "It paid off for us."
"The thing you want is for the umpires to get it right," McCann said. "With replay in situations like this, you know they will."
At first, McCann's drive to right field was signaled in play by second-base umpire and crew chief Tim McClelland. The catcher immediately did some lobbying after pulling into second.
"I told [him], 'I promise you that it hit the back wall,'" McCann said. "I was begging for it."
With replay now available, he didn't really have to beg. The umpires huddled briefly and then left the field to view the TV monitor.
McClelland emerged 86 seconds later and signaled home run. The Marlins didn't protest. Florida right fielder Mike Stanton said he knew that the ball had gone over the front fence before bouncing off the back wall because of the sound it made.
"It wasn't a tough call," Diaz said. "It was obvious on TV."
Asked if he had been a proponent of replay, Braves manager Bobby Cox said, "I would in this [instance] for sure."
Cox had been ejected in the sixth inning by third-base umpire Mike Everitt for arguing a strikeout on an attempted check swing and got a quick look at the TV monitor from exile.
"I don't know why the guy called it a non-home run to begin with," Cox said. "It was obvious that it went over the padding [first]."
Cox said that he thought the umpires might have changed the initial ruling even without TV help.
"I don't know [for sure]," he said. "I think we would have went out and argued it and they would have got together and probably gotten it right, even without watching it," he said. "That's what I think."
With replay, though, there was no question and ongoing debate. McCann had his walk-off and the Braves a 7-6 victory.
Guy Curtright is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.