|Scioscia passionately argues his case to Cubby.|
Pursuant to Rule 3.05(b), "If the pitcher is replaced, the substitute pitcher shall pitch to the batter then at bat, or any substitute batter, until such batter is put out or reaches first base, or until the offensive team is put out, unless the substitute pitcher sustains injury or illness which, in the umpire-in-chief’s judgment, incapacitates him for further play as a pitcher."
No discernible injury or illness was cited for the Ambriz-for-Wright substitution, which suggests a violation of Rule 3.05(b). Pursuant to Rule 3.05(b) Comment, "If a manager attempts to remove a pitcher in violation of Rule 3.05 (c) the umpire shall notify the manager of the offending club that it cannot be done. If, by chance, the umpire-in-chief has, through oversight, announced the incoming improper pitcher, he should still corrrect the situation before the improper pitcher pitches. Once the improper pitcher delivers a pitch he becomes the proper pitcher."
Upon observing the apparent illegal substitution, Scioscia convened crew chief Fieldin Culbreth and his umpiring crew of Brian O'Nora, Bill Welke and Adrian Johnson (plate), ultimately electing to protest the game due to the alleged misapplication of the Official Baseball Rules, pursuant to Rule 4.19 which governs protested games (umpires shall be notified at the time the play under protest occurs and before the next pitch, play or attempted play).
As such, Ambriz was permitted to pitch to Shuck's replacement, left-handed batter Scott Cousins (Jimenez was never officially announced) and Cousins flew out to end the inning. At the time of the protest, the Astros were leading, 5-3. The Angels ultimately won the contest, 6-5. Because the Angels won the ballgame, the protest has been withdrawn.
The last protest in Major League Baseball occurred during the 2012 NL Wild Card Game when LF Umpire Sam Holbrook ruled an infield fly (denied; judgment call) while the last Angels protest occurred on August 3, 2012 when Scioscia protested a runner's lane interference non-call (denied; umpire's judgment).
The last time a protest was upheld in MLB was on June 17, 1986, when the Pittsburgh Pirates protested that a rain-shortened game during which the Pirates appeared to lose to the St. Louis Cardinals, 4-1, was improperly called by umpiring crew chief John Kibler. Kibler called the game after two rain delays lasting 17 and 22 minutes; two pitches were thrown between the two delays. As National League regulations required umpires to wait at least 75 minutes during an initial and 45 minutes after a subsequent rain or other weather delay before calling a game, NL President Charles Feeney upheld the protest.
Wrap: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim vs. Houston Astros, 5/9/13
Video: Scioscia charges out of the dugout to file a protest when umpires allow consecutive pitching changes
Video: Scioscia repeats, "he's got to face a hitter!" to no avail as the umpires conference four times
Video: Porter explains his motives behind his excessive pitching changes, a misunderstanding of the rules