Sandberg, Phillies lose first-ever challenge

Sandberg, Phillies lose first-ever challenge
April 6, 2014, 8:00 pm
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Ryne Sandberg's first challenge came on a bang-bang play at first base involving Chase Utley in the fifth inning of Sunday's loss. (AP)

CHICAGO – So far, the Phillies haven’t had much success with baseball’s new replay system.

They had a call overturned against them in Texas. They failed to challenge a call they would have won Saturday against the Cubs. And on Sunday, they challenged a call on the bases and lost.

The play occurred in the fifth inning of the Phils' 8-3 loss to the Cubs. Chase Utley was called out by umpire C.B. Bucknor on a ground ball to shortstop. The ball was actually a scorched line drive that clanged off pitcher Carlos Villanueva’s glove and rolled to shortstop Starlin Castro, who made the throw to first.

The play brought manager Ryne Sandberg out of the dugout. As he conversed with Bucknor, the Phillies’ video personnel looked at the play. Bench coach Larry Bowa got on the phone and spoke with the video folks who told him to challenge the call. Bowa flashed Sandberg the thumbs-up sign and Sandberg asked for a challenge.

Umpires put on the headset and spoke to New York for two minutes. The call on the field was upheld.

And so the Phillies lost their first-ever challenge.

Sandberg took the historic event in stride.

“For me, it was a bang-bang play,” he said. “It’s the fifth inning and we needed baserunners, so it was worth a shot.”

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