PITTSBURGH — A blown call by the umpiring crew erased a scoring opportunity for the Dodgers in a 1-1 tie in the top of the eighth. The chaos that ensued led to a 4-1 Pirates win Monday night and an 18-17 overall record.
With no outs and Matt Kemp on first base, Jose Tabata clearly trapped a fly ball hit by Juan Uribe to left field. However, umpiring crew chief Mike Dimuro ruled it was a good catch and Tabata relayed on to Neil Walker, who threw to first baseman Lyle Overbay for a 7-4-3 double play.
“In the moment, hey, I got it,” Tabata said of his ‘catch.’
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly came out to challenge the call, but to no avail. The top of the eighth went scoreless, and Uribe continued to argue the call as he came out to warm up for the bottom of the inning.
“I saw the one that everybody else saw,” Uribe said.
Dimuro swiftly tossed Uribe and followed by ejecting Mattingly as well. Things were starting to spiral out of control for Los Angeles.
“From our dugout, the guys saw it bounce and that was it,” Mattingly said. “At that point, you want to get the call right.”
Dodgers starter Chad Billingsly came on with hopes of quieting things down on the mound, but the noise continued to grow. After Billingsley walked Garrett Jones, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle put Xavier Paul in to pinch run.
Walker followed with a strongly hit ball just inside the first base line that trickled in to right field right field for a double. Paul was off and running on the play and came all the way around from first base to give the Pirates a 2-1 lead.
Overbay then came to the plate and lined a double off the Clemente Wall in right field, scoring Walker for a 3-1 advantage. Ryan Doumit followed with his best Walker impression with a double just inside the first base line that scored Overbay for a 4-1 lead and complete control.
“We’re not hitting but we’re getting timely hitting,” Overbay said. “I would like to see us do it with more consistency.”
Joel Hanrahan came on and closed the game out in the ninth, capped by a diving stab and throw to end the game by Pedro Alvarez.
Tabata’s catch and throw for a 7-4-3 was the second such occurrence on the night, as Andrew McCutchen started a double play from center field in the third inning. McCutchen made a leaning grab against the wall in right-center field and relayed to Walker, who fired on to Overbay for an 8-4-3 double play.
“We made some great defensive plays,” said Walker.
As a preview to the eighth inning, the Pirates went on to score in the bottom of the third, following McCutchen’s great individual effort with run-scoring single by Jones to tie the game, 1-1.
Pirates starter Jeff Karstens allowed just one run on the night when Uribe grounded a ball past Alvarez in to right field in the first inning. He allowed seven hits and struck out two in 5 2/3 innings of work.
With the win the Pirates advance to 18-17 overall, the latest they’ve been over the .500 mark in the regular season since 2004.
“We’re going on from here,” Andrew McCutchen said. “We’re just wanting to carry it over.”
Chris Gates | Bucs Blog