Last night there was some funny and confusing doings in the top of the seventh inning during the Dodger’s 3-2 win in extra innings over the Giants.
With the Dodgers up 2-1 in the top of the seventh inning, manager Don Mattingly called for a pitching change. Nothing out of the ordinary there right? Left hander Paco Rodriguez comes running in from the bullpen like we have seen a million times this season, or more like 70 times. He begins his warm-ups, and then here comes Mattingly again. Donnie Baseball this time came up to the umpires to talk about something. What is this now? Another double-switch? No.
Apparently what had happened was that Mattingly had told the umpire he was bringing in J.P. Howell in part of a double-switch, but instead got Paco. Mattingly went to the mound to break the news to paco that he actually wanted Howell instead. Paco could be visibly seen mouthing the words “Wow” and then walking into the clubhouse. He didn’t look particularly happy with the error.
I guess what really happened was that when Mattingly came up to the umpire to make the double-switch he told him he was bringing in Howell. But when he signaled to the bullpen Paco raised his hand. This was according to what Mattingly had said in the postgame press conference. So as it turns out, it was only a case of mistaken identity. What home plate umpire Gerry Davis told Mattingly was that once you tell the umpire who you’re bringing in from the bullpen, that pitcher has to come in. So since Mattingly told him Howell was coming in, Davis forced Mattingly to take Paco off the mound and bring In Howell. And that is exactly what happened. Howell came in from the bullpen and pitched a scoreless seventh inning, whiffing Brandon Crawford and Matt Cain.
The funny thing was that Paco was still eligible to pitch since his name was not announced. And so, Paco just trotted back down to the bullpen, and was able to enter the game later.
This kind of thing is nothing new between these two clubs. If you remember three seasons ago, Don Mattingly then as hitting coach under manager Joe Torre, was caught accidentally making a double mound trip. Then earlier this season, Mattingly turned the tables on Bruce Bochy, catching his team batting out of order in a game at San Francisco. Technical errors, and mix-ups seem to be par for the course in these games between the Dodgers and Giants lately.
Paco Rodrgiuez actually did come in and pitch in the top of the eighth, inning and retired the only batter he faced, although it was a sacrifice. The Dodgers would go onto win the game 3-2 in the bottom of the tenth, on a walk-off RBI single from Adrian Gonzalez, that scored Carl Crawford. Check out what Mcocovey Chronicle’s Grant Brisbee had to say about the incident. This tweet may the best of them all.
Don Mattingly is a buffoon. He also might win Manager of the Year.
— Grant Brisbee (@mccoveychron) September 13, 2013
Touche’ Grant touche’. This just proves that Baseball is a game played by humans, and humans are going to make mistakes from time to time. You know the old saying, to err is to human. Well that’s all last night’s top of the seventh inning was, just a big mix-up. Perhaps the guys in the bullpen can start wearing beepers, so when Mattingly wants someone to come in, he can just beep them, and then there won’t be anymore mix-ups. By the way Don Mattingly is still going to win manager of the year, and deservedly so. Double mound trips, and mistaken identities be damned.