As I settled down onto my couch last night to watch the Dodgers-Giants game, I expected a classic pitching duel featuring two of the game’s youngest star pitchers—Clayton Kershaw and Tim Lincecum. Instead, I saw a wild 7-5 Giants win that featured three ejections, hit batters, bench warnings and the 8.06 rule.

In case you are not familiar with the rule, 8.06 (b) regarding the manager’s trips to his pitcher states: “A second trip to the same pitcher in the same inning will cause this pitcher’s automatic removal.” It also clarifies in the rule that the manager or coach is considered to have concluded his visit to the mound when he leaves the 18-foot circle surrounding the pitcher’s rubber.

Well after Joe Torre and bench coach Bob Schaefer were ejected earlier in the game, hitting coach Don Mattingly took over as the acting manager. With the bases loaded in the top of the ninth and the Dodgers clinging to a 5-4 lead, Mattingly went out to talk with closer Jonathan Broxton. Mattingly started walking back to the dugout, took a couple of steps off the mound before turning around to say something else. Giants manager Bruce Bochy was all over it. He appealed to the umps that it was two separate visits. The rule does state that, and Broxton was forced out of the game for reliever George Sherrill, who by the way promptly gave up the go-ahead two-run single to Andres Torres. Bochy also got this call against the Dodgers when he was managing the Padres in 2006.


Mattingly admitted that he knew the rule, but didn’t think he moved off the dirt when he turned back. The Dodgers were probably still done because Broxton did not seem to have it last night anyway after giving up a single and a walk to lead off the inning.

The great pitching duel was foiled early when an ineffective Lincecum was hit around early and failed to go at least five innings. He finished with five runs allowed on seven hits in just 4.2 innings of work. Not very Timmy-like. Kershaw, on the other hand, was more effective but did not have brilliant stuff himself as he allowed four runs (two earned) through 6.0 innings and was ejected after hitting Aaron Rowand with a pitch to lead off the seventh. Kershaw also hit Torres to lead off the game in the first. Lincecum retaliated by brushing Matt Kemp back in the fifth and then hit him on the very next pitch.

Like I said, so much for that 1-0 pitching duel. It was still a great game, just not the type of game I was expecting. I’m only disappointed in MLB Extra Innings package for not having the Dodgers broadcast with Vin Scully available…I have no idea why that was either. Would have  been a great contest to listen to Vin. I  The Giants go for the road sweep of the Dodgers tonight.