Benches cleared after the Dodgers’ 11-inning loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday night, the result of a controversial call and clash of former teammates at the end of a frustrating night for Los Angeles.
With one on and one out in the bottom of the 11th and the Dodgers trailing 3-2, AJ Pollock waited at first base while the umpires checked a video review.
Pollock was convinced an Archie Bradley fastball had hit his wrist guard. On the field, home plate umpire Ramon De Jesus saw it differently, ruling the pitch hit Pollock’s bat and popped into the air where Arizona catcher Carson Kelly caught it for the first out.
The umpires checked the video and consulted MLB’s replay center in New York. To the Dodgers’ disbelief, the call was upheld.
“I don’t know how they don’t get that,” Pollock said, adding, “I didn’t get any knob or anything. It was all wrist.”
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was also upset.
“Typically, I’m very political with umpiring, but they missed it,” Roberts said. “That’s just a fact. You have a system in place to get it right and it was clearly wrong. That impacted the game. … [It] changed the complexion of that inning, clearly.”
Stunned, Pollock walked across the diamond on his way back to the Dodgers’ third-base dugout. That’s when the flare-up began.
As Pollock continued shouting to the umpire, Bradley appeared to shoo him along. The two players spent four years together as teammates in Arizona. But Pollock immediately took offense to Bradley’s motion and jawed at him instead.
“I’m not excited about their call,” Pollock said. “I’m not going to spring off, be all giggly. He didn’t like that. Whatever.”
“AJ does nothing but play the game the right way,” Roberts added. “Our guys took offense to that.”
Minutes later, after Bradley recorded the final out of the Diamondbacks’ come-from-behind 3-2 win at Dodger Stadium, the Arizona closer spouted more smack talk at the Los Angeles dugout, according to Roberts.
“After you get the save, you finish the game, and then you look into our dugout and pop off — unnecessary,” Roberts said.
Tempers ignited. Both dugouts emptied. At first, the teams remained separated and relatively tame. Then Roberts and Arizona pitcher Robbie Ray, who had changed into a T-shirt and gym shorts after starting the game, engaged in a shouting match. Both had to be held back while umpires tried to clear the field.
“Things are getting defused and then you see another person that is really trying to instigate, it’s not necessary,” said Roberts, who initially mistook Ray for a non-uniformed staffer. “I don’t think we instigated anything.
“He shouldn’t have been on the field anyway. I see somebody that’s in shorts, wearing an Arizona T-shirt. That looks to me as staff. After you’re out of the game, to be out on the field in shorts, he doesn’t need to be out there.”
Unsurprisingly, Ray had a different take.
“I was out behind everybody, then I hear someone yelling at me,” Ray told reporters. “I’m not going to just sit there and let you yell at me like that. If you want to do something about it, that’s fine. I’m not just going to wear it.”
Ray declined to repeat what Roberts shouted at him.
“Maybe it’s a fake tough guy thing that he puts on for his team,” Ray said. “But whatever, we won the game.”
There were no apparent physical altercations between the teams. After about a minute, they retreated to their clubhouses.
“Our guys were there for one another,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “Throughout the entire game, and what you saw at the end. That’s what we do here in Arizona.”