Pirates benefit from instant replay in win over Dodgers

Howie Kendrick, Neil Walker

The Dodgers' Howie Kendrick beats the tag of Pirates second baseman Neil Walker during a pickoff attempt at second base in the second inning of their game Saturday in Pittsburgh. No review needed on this play.

(Jared Wickerham / Getty Images)

Pittsburgh Manager Clint Hurdle said he can’t remember ever asking for video reviews of three calls in the same game before.

Which either means he’s never done it or he has a really bad memory because baseball didn’t start using instant replay to challenge an umpire’s decision until last season.

Either way, Hurdle certainly made the right call by asking for the reviews Saturday since all three went his way in a 6-5 win over the Dodgers.

“Winning all three speaks to the importance of it and why we have it,” Hurdle said after the Pirates held on for the victory in a marathon that lasted nearly four hours — more than 10 minutes of which were dedicated to umpires reviewing video.


“We had every one of those calls go against us and having them go in favor changed the dynamic of the game as it went on,” Hurdle said.

The Pirates actually won four challenges since a video play showed the umpires had made the right call on a third-inning force play the Dodgers had challenged.

Hurdle questioned two force plays at second base and a play at first in the ninth inning, when first base umpire Mark Wegner ruled that Pittsburgh’s Sean Rodriguez had come off the bag and called Yasiel Puig safe. Puig would have represented the go-ahead run, but after a 2-minute, 50-second review, the call was overturned.

In the other dugout Manager Don Mattingly wasn’t convinced the umpires had adhered to their own rules on that reversal, which derailed a Dodgers rally. Two batters later, Yasmani Grandal struck out with the tying run at second to end the game.


“It’s 100% clear and convincing,” said Mattingly somewhat sarcastically. “I’m sure we’ll get a photo at one point that shows his foot is 100% on the bag. So within the terms of the rules — clear and convincing — I’m sure it is.”

On a roll

Jimmy Rollins hasn’t been a factor offensively for the Dodgers most of the season. But with the pennant-race finish line now visible in the distance, he’s suddenly shifted gears.

With a leadoff single Saturday, Rollins is hitting .323 in August and has reached base safely in nine consecutive games, lifting his season average to .222. Second baseman Howie Kendrick has been even better lately, collecting multiple hits in four straight games and scoring a run in eight of the last nine.

But just as important as their hitting, Mattingly said, is the leadership both players are showing as the playoff chase heats up.

“When I talk about Jimmy, I always talk about Howie. Because I feel like both of those guys have been here a number of times,” Mattingly said of his double-play combo, which has played in 15 postseason series with Rollins winning a World Series ring in 2008 with the Phillies.

“Him and Howie, both solid up the middle. Solid demeanor, solid in the clubhouse. Just what you want from guys that have been through it, that are not going to panic, not going to let one game affect the next. Just being through it helps.”


Twitter: @kbaxter11