Dave Roberts: Dodgers Missed Opportunity To Challenge Wild Pitch Call

The Los Angeles Dodgers twice left the bases loaded and stranded 14 overall, but an apparent incorrect wild pitch call with Brandon Crawford at the plate ultimately loomed large as well in a 3-2 loss to the San Francisco Giants.

Trailing 2-1 heading into the bottom of the eighth, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts called on Craig Kimbrel for his first appearance since coming off paternity leave. Kimbrel allowed a leadoff single and issued consecutive walks to load the bases.

He then got Crawford to chase a pitch in the dirt that bounced in the dirt before hitting off his leg and rolling away from Will Smith. It was immediately ruled a swinging strike and wild pitch, which allowed Joc Pederson to score.

Roberts approached multiple umpires in hopes of getting the call reviewed, though to no avail. According to Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group, Roberts said he was unsuccessful in challenging the missed call because of the amount of time that passed:

“From the bench, we can’t tell — I couldn’t tell — if it hit Crawford and I just thought it was a wild pitch,” Roberts said. “As Will goes to retrieve the baseball, and he gets back, Trea’s yelling into the dugout that it hit him.

“I go out there and try to protest or question. But … apparently the 20-second replay window had been closed. It potentially could have been challenged if we would have gotten ahead of it. But Will behind the plate couldn’t tell either. So it’s just one of those certain situations that we just didn’t react fast enough and we just didn’t know.”

Per MLB rules, the play should have been dead once the ball hit Crawford. Had it been called correctly, it’s plausible Pederson never scores what wound up being the game-winning run. Kimbrel struck out Crawford, and Evan Phillips followed suit with Austin Wynns and Curt Casali to end the inning.

Freddie Freeman wound up hitting a leadoff home run in the ninth that only cut the Dodgers’ deficit in half rather than tied the game. Of course, L.A. still had an opportunity as they left two on to finish the game 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

Dodgers lose Buehler to flexor injury

Compounding the loss, the Dodgers’ eighth in their last 12 games, was an MRI revealing Walker Buehler suffered a strained right flexor tendon that will shut him down for six to eight weeks.

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