Friday, July 23, 2010

Umpires erred with Broxton, MLB says

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre, talks with Adrian Johnson after the home plate umpire ejected Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw in the seventh inning on Tuesday.

Los Angeles
-- The umpiring crew erred when it forced Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton to leave Tuesday night's 7-5 Giants victory, a league official said Wednesday. In fact, Broxton should have been required to face Andres Torres, whose two-run double off new pitcher George Sherrill gave the Giants a 6-5 lead.

"Really? That's unbelievable," Torres said when told the umps made a mistake. "We won, right? They can't take it away from us, right?"

Indeed they cannot, for while that sort of rules misapplication is grounds for a protest that could result in the game being replayed, the Dodgers failed to lodge a protest, so the case is closed.

With the bases loaded and Torres about to bat with one out in the ninth inning, acting Dodgers manager Don Mattingly visited Broxton on the mound. Mattingly walked off the mound but returned to answer a question from first baseman James Loney.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy immediately went to the umps and argued that Mattingly made two mound visits and that Broxton should be removed. The umpires conferred, then agreed.

They followed Rule 8.06 (b), which states, "A second trip to the same pitcher in the same inning will cause this pitcher's automatic removal." However, a comment underneath Rule 8.06 states that if the manager makes two mound visits with the same hitter at the plate and is warned by the umpire not to do so, "the manager shall be removed from the game and the pitcher required to pitch to the batter until he is retired or gets on base."

Only then is the pitcher forced to leave.

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