LOS ANGELES — Buck Showalter knew the rule, but the Dodgers were left in the smog.
With his team trailing the Mets by five runs after the eighth inning on Saturday night, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts tried to insert outfielder Zach McKinstry into the game as a pitcher. MLB rules state that a team must trail by at least six points before a position player can pitch.
“I kept looking at the scoreboard and thought something was wrong,” Showalter said after the Mets’ 9-4 win at Dodger Stadium. “I kept looking up, saying ‘Nine minus four is five, right?’ ”
Roberts insisted on a clarification of the New York rules, according to Showalter, which caused a delay. Umpire team manager CB Bucknor announced that McKinstry was ineligible to pitch based on the score, meaning the Dodgers had to warm up a reliever in the bullpen. After a delay of about 11 minutes, play resumed with reliever Evan Phillips facing Starling Marte.
Showalter played down his involvement in the decision.
He was asked if he would have faced a ninth position player instead.
“We won today against a very good team,” Showalter said. “God bless everyone.
New York Post