Major League Baseball used expanded replay for the first time during a regular-season game this afternoon, confirming an umpire's call during a game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs, reports the Associated Press. The league announced that it would begin giving managers the option to challenge calls for the first time this year, and it didn't take long on opening day for the Cubs' manager to take advantage of it, calling for a replay after his player was called out at first base. It reportedly took two minutes for review officials, who are located offsite in New York, to confirm the call.
First challenge confirmed the umpire's call
Not long thereafter, an umpire's call was overturned for the first time in the regular season during a game between the Milwaukee Brewers and Atlanta Braves, according to the AP. It was also regarding a play at first base. The umpire initially called a Brewers player safe, but after a challenge from the Braves' manager, umpires reviewing the replay reversed the call. It reportedly took just 58 seconds.
All MLB ballparks will be outfitted with the new system this season, making replays a more integral part of the game than when they were first introduced in a limited fashion for umpires in 2008. Though it may be somewhat ironic that the first challenge only confirmed an umpire's call, blown calls have been increasingly problematic as high-definition cameras and TVs make it clear to viewers when they actually occur. The system has been in testing since spring training, and officials are targeting bringing the average review time down to just minute and fifteen seconds.
Update: this article has been updated to include information on the first call overturned through extended replay.