Dodgers lose first instant replay challenge of season

Victor Decolongon

A call against the Dodgers was upheld on Saturday, but was it a call that didn't have to be made?

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers issued their first challenge of the year under MLB's new instant replay system, but manager Don Mattingly's challenge was denied in the seventh inning. A.J. Ellis was thrown out at home plate by Hunter Pence for the third out of the inning, a call that was upheld after review.

Under the new instant replay rule, managers can challenge up to two plays each game - provided the play is a reviewable play - but would only get that second challenge if successful in their first challenge. If a challenge comes after the start of the seventh inning, the umpire crew chief has discretion whether or not to allow instant replay and/or invoke replay themselves.

On Saturday, crew chief Joe West allowed Mattingly's challenge, but after review the out call was upheld.

Sending Ellis was a questionable decision by third base coach Lorenzo Bundy, especially since the bases could have been loaded for the heart of the lineup due up next. But after the game Mattingly didn't want to discuss publicly his thoughts on Bundy's decision.

"That would be something we will talk about internally," Mattingly said.

Suddenly more relevant is a conversation I had in San Diego on Tuesday with Bundy, who has 12 years of minor league managing experience, including six of the previous seven years in the Dodgers system and the last three years at Triple-A Albuquerque.

With limited coaching staffs relative to the major leagues, Bundy as manager would often coach third base in the minors.

"It's always the same wherever you are, coaching third base. You gather as much information as you can before and you run as many situations in your head before, and hopefully you make the right decision," Bundy said. "The difference in the game for me, after managing all these years, when I was coaching third base I knew what I wanted to do but now I'm waiting to see what Donny wants to do. It's just being prepared for whatever Don wants to do."

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