Why didn't Braves challenge potentially pivotal call in World Series Game 6 vs. Astros?

Why didn't Braves challenge potentially pivotal call in World Series Game 6 vs. Astros?

In the first inning of a potentially deciding Game 6 of the 2021 World Series, Braves manager Brian Snitker made what appeared to be a questionable decision.

His starting pitcher, Max Fried, had just induced a slow grounder by Michael Brantley. Fried went to cover first base after first baseman Freddie Freeman fielded the ball. What happened next caused quite the stir as Brantley stepped on Fried’s ankle, never touched first base and was subsequently called safe.

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As it turned out, Fried didn’t touch the bag, either — initially. His glove did and left foot eventually did while Brantley was running into right field. That led many to believe Brantley should have been called out. Snitker didn’t challenge or appeal the call, however, which added to the confusion. Snitker opted to play on instead.

The point that many relied upon to argue Brantley should have been called out was that Fried’s glove touched the bag while Brantley never did.

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But Fried’s touch wasn’t sufficient to retire Brantley. According to MLB rules, and in particular the MLB umpires manual, the Braves needed to make an appeal before Brantley returned to first base and stepped on the bag.

A similar play took place earlier this season, though Tuesday night’s incident was far more consequential.

During an August matchup between the Red Sox and Blue Jays in Toronto, Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo missed the bag on a failed Jays double play attempt but then hustled back, realizing what he had done.

Ultimately, Snitker’s decision not to appeal didn’t come back to hurt the Braves, as Fried retired the next three batters, including strikeouts of Carlos Correa and Yuli Gurriel. Atlanta got a three-run home run from Jorge Soler in the third inning and eventually took a 7-0 lead in the seventh inning.

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