LOS ANGELES — A call at home plate in Game 1 of the NL Championship Series on Saturday night was overturned by video replay due to the plate collision rule, drawing the ire of Chicago Cubs players and manager Joe Maddon, who was ejected for arguing the decision.
The overturned call in the seventh inning gave the Dodgers a cushion run in their 5-2 victory. Afterward, Maddon voiced his displeasure — not with the umpires, but at the rule itself.
Charlie Culberson tried to score from second on a single by Justin Turner and was initially called out by umpire Mike Winters for not touching home plate after evading Willson Contreras’ tag. The Dodgers challenged the call, and after a video review, it was determined that Contreras blocked the plate before he received the ball. The interpretation of the rule infuriated Maddon.
“I could not disagree more with the interpretation of that,” Maddon said postgame. “I think it’s wrong. I think anybody that’s played Major League or even Minor League Baseball will agree with me 100 percent on that.”
Joe Maddon addresses the call that was overturned at the plate which resulted in Charlie Culberson scoring in the seventh.
The Dodgers challenged on the grounds Contreras broke rule 7.13, which states “unless the catcher is in possession of the ball, the catcher cannot block the pathway of the runner as he is attempting to score. If, in the judgment of the umpire, the catcher without possession of the ball blocks the pathway of the runner, the umpire shall call or signal the runner safe.”
The rule was instituted prior to the 2014 season.
“The umpires did everything according to what they’ve been told,” Maddon stated. “From day one, I’ve disagreed with the content of the rule … That was a beautifully done major league play, that gets interpreted tantamount to the soda tax in Chicago.”
Pitcher John Lackey, who gave up the hit to Turner, has long believed baseball is going in the wrong direction with some of the newer rules.
“That’s straight from New York,” Lackey said. “We [Lackey and the umpires] had a discussion on how soft baseball is getting.”
Keep up with the latest as baseball’s top teams contend for the title.
• Ultimate playoff guide » | Picks »
• Puig, Dodgers remind Cubs it isn’t 2016 »
• Bombers’ backs are against the wall »
• Verlander’s gem gives Astros 2-0 lead »
• How Sanchez botched the final play »
• L.A.’s tough choices with Seager out »
• Insider ranks: LCS hitters » | Pitchers »
• Schedule » | Complete coverage »
Maddon said Contreras “did everything right,” adding there was nothing he could have done differently.
“I think we need to go to Walmart, get some toys and then play,” Contreras said sarcastically. “It was an amazing play. The ball took me to that position.”
After the replay led to the call being overturned, Maddon stormed out of the dugout and began to argue. Winters, the crew chief, let him make a brief case before tossing him.
Said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts: “I looked at just like everyone else looked at it, and as the rule states, he was in violation.”
The run increased the Dodgers’ lead to 5-2, which held as the as the final score.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.