The Dodgers were able to pull out a comeback win on Sunday afternoon, a 2-1 extra-inning triumph over the Chicago White Sox at Dodger Stadium. With the win, that lessened the blow of an earlier call that took a run off the scoreboard for the Dodgers.
Trailing 1-0 with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning, catcher Matt Treanor scored from third base on a sacrifice fly to right field off the bat of Elian Herrera. However, on appeal, Treanor was called out by third base umpire Jerry Meals, who ruled Treanor left the bag too early.
Matt Kemp and bench coach Trey Hillman ran to the video room in the clubhouse to see a replay, and told manager Don Mattingly that Treanor didn't leave early; in fact, Mattingly later said replays showed that Treanor was on third base for roughly 1.3 seconds while right fielder Alex Rios still had the ball.
Meals yelled something in between innings at Kemp, who was chirping from the dugout, a no-no for players on the disabled list.
"I really went out there just to protect Matt, not to argue the play."
Mattingly did not like the explanations he was given by Meals and crew chief Gary Darling, the home plate umpire, and took part in a lengthy and animated argument, to the delight of the crowd. And the team.
"As far as I'm concerned, Donnie had my back right there and he had the team's back. It wasn't an individual appeal, it was a team thing," Treanor said. "He stood up for all of us, and he showed us he does have our backs."
Upon seeing the replay himself later, Mattingly was more dismayed.
"(Meals) was lined up, but he wasn't even watching. I saw the video, and his head was looking in the outfield," Mattingly said. "That's what's irritating. When they tell you they got it 100% right, it's hard to buy it when it costs you a run."
Is Mattingly in favor of instant replay on calls like this? "I better not answer that right now," he said after the game, laughing.
Treanor called Mattingly's argument "fantastic," and said he had never seen his manager so animated.
"I don't care to be in his office when he's like that," Treanor said with a smirk. "I'll let him do that with the umpires."
Sunday's game was a fantastic pitching duel between Chris Capuano and Jose Quintana. Luckily for the Dodgers, Quintana was pulled after just 77 pitches in his eight scoreless innings, and they were able to score runs in the ninth and 10th innings to pull out the win.
"The story of the day was obviously Quintana. He was very impressive, really efficient," Capuano said. "The way he was throwing, we didn't feel like we'd get any daylight there. It's just great to come back and steal one in the end."
Capuano struck out 12 and walked just one in a season-high eight innings, a nice turn around from his three previous June starts, in which he allowed 13 runs in 15 1/3 innings.
"I felt really good the first two months of the season, then in the last couple of weeks I struggled with mechanics. I had a lot of trouble putting the ball where I wanted," Capuano said. "But my last couple bullpens, then today, felt much better with the location of my pitches. It was a lot more fun out there today than it has been the last few."
Capuano on the season is 8-2 with a 2.71 ERA, with 80 strikeouts in 86 1/3 innings.
The Dodgers are off Monday, then open a nine-game road trip on Tuesday night in Oakland. The Dodgers will send Aaron Harang, who started his major league career with the Athletics in 2002, to the mound in the opener, marking the first time he will have pitched in Oakland since leaving the A's in 2003. Brandon McCarthy starts Tuesday for Oakland.
Kemp and Mark Ellis, both on the disabled list, will travel with the team to Oakland.
"Matt and Mark are going with us on the road, mainly because they're doing a ton of baseball work," Mattingly said on Sunday. "They're on the field taking BP now, they've been able to do a lot more stuff on the field."
Mattingly also said one of the team trainers will stay in Los Angeles while the team is in Oakland, to work with Ted Lilly, Matt Guerrier, Javy Guerra, and Justin Sellers. That quartet of players on the disabled list will not make the trip to the Bay Area, though Mattingly said Guerra might join the team in San Francisco next week.