After winning Game 2 of the NL Division Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers only needed a split in St. Louis to force a decided Game 5 back at Chavez Ravine.
Hyun-Jin Ryu took the mound for the first time in over three weeks and showed little rust as he allowed just one run in six innings. Ryu picked up four strikeouts along the way, but also needed to threw extra pitches due to home-plate umpire Dale Scott’s inconsistent strike zone.
When facing right-handed batters, Ryu more times than not had difficulty in getting the inside strike called. Conversely, Scott’s strike zone for St. Louis Cardinals starter John Lackey was liberal when he faced righties. While some Dodgers complained in-game, non were more vocal than Kemp, who then commented on the matter after the loss.
According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, Kemp’s critical remarks were enough to warrant a forthcoming fine:
Dodgers star Matt Kemp will be fined for his harsh remarks about Dale Scott’s strike zone in Game 3 of the NLDS game with the Cardinals, sources say.
Benefitting from a strike zone that appeared to fluctuate, Lackey finished the game with eight strikeouts, including getting Kemp in the sixth and ninth innings — both at-bats had borderline strikes called.
During his ninth-inning at-bat, Kemp got into an argument with Scott after he went down looking on a pitch that appeared to be in the same location as a called ball. It was Trevor Rosenthal’s only strikeout of the inning and the Cardinals went on to win the swing game, 3-1.
Manager Don Mattingly also criticized Scott’s strike zone, though his postgame comments were much more tame than Kemp’s. While it is Kemp who reportedly will be fined, he called for Scott to be punished and that doesn’t appear to be likely, however he was left off the NLCS umpiring crew.