PITTSBURGH -- Because of technical difficulties with the instant replay system at PNC Park, the Cardinals and Pirates were permitted unlimited crew chief reviews for the entirety of their Opening Day game on Sunday, a 4-1 Pirates win.
According to Major League Baseball executive Joe Torre, there was a glitch in the visiting side replay equipment on Sunday. Both teams were alerted to the change in replay protocol before the game, which is why the start was delayed 10 minutes.
"They knew if we had any questions, we were going to challenge," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "That's what we did. I told [the umpires], 'I don't know how long it's going to take to play this game, but anything I see that doesn't look right, we're going to stop and take a look.' There can't be a competitive advantage there."
Through two innings, crew chief Jerry Layne had already reviewed a pair of plays, both requested by the Cardinals. There was a one-minute, 25-second review of a called hit by pitch of Andrew McCutchen in the first inning. That call stood, and McCutchen was awarded first base. In the second, Layne confirmed that Francisco Liriano's RBI single did not hit Jordy Mercer, who was running from first.
A sixth-inning call was later reviewed, as well, and confirmed that Gregory Polanco was out trying to advance from first to second on a fly ball to Cardinals center fielder Randal Grichuk. That review took one minute, 35 seconds to complete.
Typically, crew chief reviews are limited to potential home run calls or calls beginning in the seventh inning if a manager has exhausted his challenges.