We love it when a manager uses the rulebook to his advantage. Bruce Bochy caught acting Dodgers manager Don Mattingly inadvertently stepping off the mound during the visit to his pitcher, and the resulting nitpick gave the Giants a victory.
With the bases loaded and the Dodgers up by one, Jonathan Broxton came on to close it out for Los Angeles. Broxton loaded the bases, and Mattingly (who had taken over for the ejected Joe Torre), came out to discuss how to pitch to the next guy.
"There's no one throwing in the pen," Vin Scully intoned ominously as Mattingly strolls to the mound. "That's it. It's Broxton or no one."
Mattingly has his conference with Broxton, but steps off the dirt, just a single step, to talk to first baseman James Loney. He then steps back to have one last word with Broxton — in doing so, stepping back onto the mound.
Believe it or not, that counts as two separate mound visits. If two are made in a single inning, the pitcher must be removed from the game.
Bochy hopped out of the dugout immediately, and to his credit, Scully was the second person in the park to figure out what was going on.
The umps agreed, Broxton had to come out, and George Sherrill had to come on — with only 10 warmup pitches, instead of his standard 25. Double, single, and the Giants come from behind to win 7-5.
Well played, Bochy.