This week's episode of mound visit madness occurred during Monday's Mets-Giants game with Giants relief pitcher George Kontos throwing in the top of the 16th. With one out, Kontos surrendered a single to Mets batter Eric Young Jr., prompting a mound visit from San Francisco pitching coach Dave Righetti as Daniel Murphy stepped to the plate and reliever Javier Lopez began to warm in the Giants' bullpen. After Young stole second and with Murphy still at bat, Giants manager Bruce Bochy attempted to substitute Lopez for Kontos, resulting in the second mound visit of the inning, not to mention the at bat.
|Bochy strolls to the mound at AT&T Park.|
Rule 8.06 Comment specifies that, if after a first visit in the same inning with the same pitcher in the game and the same batter at bat, the manager attempts to make a second visit in contravention of Rule 8.06(c), the umpire shall warn him that he cannot return to the mound and if after being warned, the manager still makes that second such visit, "the manager shall be removed from the game and the pitcher required to pitch to the batter until he is retired or gets on base."
During Mets-Giants, Bochy made this second visit and by rule, Kontos was properly replaced by Lopez after Murphy grounded out to advance the winning run—Young—to third base...though Bochy was not "removed from the game" as in Rule 8.06 Comment. One theory as to why Bochy was permitted to remain in the game is that the umpires—HP Umpire Adam Hamari and Acting Crew Chief Bill Miller along with 2B Umpire Todd Tichenor and 3B Umpire CB Bucknor—did not warn Bochy about the impending Rule 8.06(c) violation prior to his second visit.
This is not Bochy's first multiple mound visit rodeo in California.
|Mattingly turns around for prohibited visit #2.|
In response to that sequence, MLB publicly stated that HP Umpire Adrian Johnson and Crew Chief Tim McClelland improperly applied Rule 8.06 because the umpires required Broxton to leave the game immediately instead of forcing Broxton to face batter Andres Torres and then depart. Reliever George Sherrill allowed a game-winning two-run double to Torres and MLB's statement suggested that had the Dodgers protested the game (they did not), the protest may have been upheld.
In May, Mike Scioscia and the Angels protested after umpires improperly allowed Houston to remove pitcher Wesley Wright without Wright having thrown a single pitch. Because the Angels ultimately won the game, the protest was dropped, though the protest would have been upheld had the Angels lost. Following the game, Crew Chief Fieldin Culbreth was suspended two games while umpires Johnson, Bill Welke and Brian O'Nora were publicly fined. Coincidentally, Johnson was here, as he was in 2010, the home plate umpire.