When the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants play, there’s bound to be something controversial take place.
Last season, the benches cleared after Yasiel Puig was hit with a pitch after an earlier exchange between Puig and Madison Bumgarner following a Puig home run. The Giants took the first game of the series in 2015 behind five infield singles and four double plays on defense. Game two was a marquee matchup pitting Bumgarner against reigning Cy Young and MVP Clayton Kershaw.
Heading into the ninth inning, the game was tied at two and the Dodgers failed to score in the top half of the inning. With runners on first and second, Brandon Belt hit a single to left field, but it was not enough to score Gregor Blanco from second base; however, it appeared that third base coach Roberto Kelly was in the way, stopping Blanco with contact:
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly took the field to argue that interference should have been called. The third base umpire would not agree with Mattingly, and seemingly refused to ask the home plate umpire for help. The Giants would end up winning the game when the next batter hit a sacrifice fly to make it 3-2.
Mattingly was upset with the play and believes the umpires got the call wrong via Alex Espinoza of MLB.com:
The third-base coach blocked,” Mattingly said. “It’s obviously interference. They missed the call, basically. I don’t know who was supposed to be watching, but they weren’t watching.”
Fieldin Culbreth, the third base umpire, gave his take on the matter after the game:
Don came out and asked me did I see him grab him. I told him no, I did not see him grab him,” Culbreth said. “There ends up being contact but the rule is pretty specific in the fact that he had to touch and physically grab him and assist him in returning to the base. That did not happen. If he doesn’t physically assist him in returning to the base, then there’s no interference.”
While it won’t change the outcome of the game now, the Dodgers surely had reason to gripe at the time.
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