SAN DIEGO — The game between the Dodgers and San Diego Padres on Sunday broke in Major League Baseball's expanded instant replay system.
Well, kind of. Neither team challenged a call in the Padres' 3-1 victory.
Manager Don Mattingly didn't sound particularly concerned with the implementation of the new technology, even though it wasn't available to the Dodgers until they hosted the Angels on Thursday in the opening game of the Freeway Series. The new system wasn't in effect for the Dodgers' season-opening, two-game series in Australia against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
"I guess we don't really know," Mattingly said. "We've had a few games to mess with it and try it. I'm fairly comfortable with the way it works and pretty confident in the technology, and how fast it is and how clear it is. I feel OK with it. I'm sure there will be tweaks as we go along with it, but I think it's OK."
Under the new rules, each team is allowed to challenge one play. A team that successfully overturns a call will be granted a second and final challenge. Over the final three innings of a game, the umpires can initiate the replay process.
The rules add an element of strategy. Mattingly said he would be more open to challenging a call early in the game if overturning it would result in Hanley Ramirez or Adrian Gonzalez coming up with men in scoring position.
"If you have two outs and Josh Beckett's coming up, it may not be worth it in the second [inning]," Mattingly said.
Yasiel Puig was dropped to second in the order because Mattingly said he didn't want too many left-handers bunched together in the middle of the lineup.
With right-hander Andrew Cashner starting for the Padres, Mattingly decided to bat the left-handed-hitting Andre Ethier fifth. Had Puig led off and Carl Crawford batted second, one four-batter section of the lineup would have included three left-handed hitters: Crawford, cleanup hitter Gonzalez and Ethier.
With Clayton Kershaw moving to the disabled list, the Dodgers were able to create a spot in the bullpen for second-year right-hander Chris Withrow. Until Kershaw was sidelined by a strained back muscle, the hard-throwing Withrow was expected to start the season at triple-A Albuquerque. Including Withrow, the Dodgers have nine relievers on their roster.
Two players who were on the roster for the two-game series in Australia are now in the minor leagues: right-hander Jose Dominguez and infielder Alex Guerrero. Another, right-hander Seth Rosin, was claimed off waivers by the Texas Rangers.
Beckett will pitch to Matt Kemp and Chone Figgins in a simulated game on the Dodgers' day off Monday. Beckett is expected to throw 45-50 pitches. … Petco Park drew a crowd of 45,567 fans to set a single-game attendance record for the venue.
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