PITTSBURGH -- Facing one of the toughest pitchers in the Majors, the Pirates knew runs would be tough to come by Wednesday night at PNC Park.
But they probably couldn't have predicted what it would take to scratch across the tying run against Jake Arrieta in the eighth inning, forcing extras before falling to the Cubs, 3-2, in the 12th inning.
But Montero was positioned in front of home plate before even catching Baez's throw, seemingly blocking Florimon's path. That led the Pirates to challenge whether he had violated Rule 7.13 -- not allowing the runner a lane.
After a one-minute and 25-second review, the out call was confirmed.
The replay command center in New York City determined that Montero was reacting to the trajectory of Baez's throw, and therefore he was not breaking the home-plate collision rule.
The official rule reads that it isn't a violation of the rule "if the catcher blocks the pathway of the runner in a legitimate attempt to field the throw (e.g., in reaction to the direction, trajectory or the hop of the incoming throw, or in reaction to a throw that originates from a pitcher or drawn-in infielder."
"Doesn't matter what I think. We called in," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "We went ahead and asked for the replay, and we were shot down."
After all that, the Pirates wound up with runners on first (Harrison) and second (Sean Rodriguez, pinch-running for Cervelli) as Arrieta's pitch count continued to climb. Pedro Alvarez then worked a full-count walk to load the bases.