DETROIT -- White Sox batter Avisail Garcia singled to start the second inning and stole second base. Called safe by the second base umpire, the game continued as if nothing unusual had happened. Only one player noticed something was wrong. Ian Kinsler saw Garcia come off the bag when he stood up.
While the missed opportunity to challenge the call didn't change the outcome of the game, it was an avoidable situation, one that Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said shouldn't have happened.
"We found out about that too late," Ausmus said. "From the dugout we can't see that, but after the fact, when the pitcher was already on the rubber and the batter was in the box, we were alerted to 'hey he might have been off the base after the slide.' I looked at it and he was. Fortunately it didn't cost us, but it's not something that should happen again."
Anibal Sanchez went on to strike out the next two batters and got Carlos Sanchez to fly out to center field. However, the Tigers starter had already given up a home run and he allowed two more in the game. For a pitcher who's already struggling to keep opposing hitters in the ballpark, having to get an extra out -- howbeit of his own making -- only hurt.
It didn't help that Sanchez isn't exactly quick on his delivery to the plate, and having Bryan Holaday doesn't offer added assurance of being able to compensate for that -- he's only caught one attempted stolen base in seven tries. Jose Iglesias also missed the potential challenge, though his keeping the tag on Garcia led to the opportunity.
When Garcia slid into the bag, he was safe, but he bounced up while standing up, which led to both feet coming off the bag while the tag was still applied. Kinsler, "doing jumping jacks" out at second base in an attempt to alert the dugout, had no success. It's a lesson well learned, and, thankfully, one that didn't change the course of the game. Because it very well could have.
"We've already talked to them about if you see something you go to the mound and kill time," Ausmus remarked. "Give us some type of signal to let us know that we need to look at this. Sometimes from the dugout you see the call, he looks out -- the throw beat him, he tagged him, he looked out, but you don't see the aftermath.
"A lot of times you're basing the reaction of the player involved on the play, and Iggy (Jose Iglesias) didn't know it, as well. But yeah, that was a play that we should have challenged, if we had seen it."