The disputed play in the Dodgers' 5-4 loss that led to manager Don Mattingly's ejection came when Howie Kendrick led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a sinking liner that was ruled by first-base umpire Jerry Layne to have been caught by a diving Giancarlo Stanton in right field.
Replays, however, appeared to indicate the ball was trapped. Mattingly challenged, and after more than three minutes, the replay official ruled that the "call stands." Mattingly, who has been highly critical lately of calls that stand, literally flipped his lid in the dugout, tossing his cap and getting tossed from the game by third-base umpire Bob Davidson. Two batters later, Alex Guerrero's triple would have scored Kendrick.
"I just think when they show it on the big screen and you see it bounce and you've got to know it'll be overturned and it isn't, it's just frustrating," said Mattingly, who complained twice on the recent trip about calls that stood, even though one of them helped his club.
"No way is it a catch. It bounced into the glove. It hit the ground. It's just wrong. It'll get fixed some how, some way. It's frustrating guys all over the league. I don't want to talk about it, but it did cost us a run in a one-run game. Obviously, that's frustrating. The call should be overturned and it isn't. You can't blame the guy on the field. That's a tough call for Jerry."
It was so tough, apparently, that after the fifth inning, Layne took the unusual step of going into the Dodgers' dugout and getting back on the headphone set to speak with the replay officials in New York.
Mattingly also repeated his plea for the replay officials to make what he calls "blind calls," without knowing the on-field call.
"Yes or no, safe or out," he said. "There shouldn't be call stands. They don't need to know the calls. It's pretty simple. Take the human element out of it."
With Mattingly ejected for the second time in less than two weeks, the Dodgers rallied for a 4-2 lead on fifth-inning home runs by rookies Kiké Hernandez and Joc Pederson in support of another rookie, starting pitcher Carlos Frias, whose six solid innings went up in smoke as Adam Liberatore and Chris Hatcher couldn't put down a decisive three-run inning.
The final out of the frame was recorded by reliever Pedro Baez, who came back to strike out the first two batters in the eighth before a nine-pitch at-bat to former teammate Dee Gordon ended with a double by Gordon and a strained pectoral muscle for Baez, according to Mattingly.