DETROIT -- The Tigers thought they had gained a critical seventh-inning out on Sunday night by erasing the potential tying run on base for the Giants with a pickoff. Instead, replay ruled that first-base umpire Mike Winters' call that Gregor Blanco beat pitcher Blaine Hardy's throw to first base would stand.
Hardy had just entered the game with runners at the corners and one out in a 3-1 game. His first two deliveries went to first base, not home, to try to deal with Blanco. The first throw wasn't close. The second was Hardy's better pickoff move, and it just about nabbed Blanco.
As soon as Winters ruled that Blanco was safe, Hardy walked around the mound and conferred with third baseman Nick Castellanos, giving Tigers coach Matt Martin time to look at the play from the video room. Eventually, the call to the dugout was to challenge.
While an initial look suggested Cabrera tagged Blanco before he got his hand on the bag, another angle gave some doubt, suggesting Blanco might have gotten his fingers to the bag. Eventually, the rule was that the call stands, with not enough evidence to overturn the call.
The ruling dropped Tigers manager Brad Ausmus' replay rate to 20 calls overturned in 35 challenges. Nine calls stood for lack of evidence to overturn, while six calls have been confirmed on replay.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.