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 Saturday night, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts attempted to insert outfielder Zach McKinstry into the game as a pitcher. MLB rules say a team must trail by at least six runs before a position player can pitch.
“I kept looking up at the scoreboard and I thought I had something wrong,” Showalter said after the Mets’ 9-4 victory at Dodger Stadium. “I kept looking up, going ‘Nine minus four is five, right?’ ”
Roberts insisted upon a rules clarification from New York, according to Showalter, which led to a delay. Umpiring crew chief CB Bucknor announced that McKinstry was ineligible to pitch given the score, meaning the Dodgers had to get a reliever warmed up in the bullpen. After a delay of about 11 minutes, play resumed with reliever Evan Phillips facing Starling Marte.
Showalter downplayed his involvement in the ruling.
He was asked if he would have rather faced a position player in the ninth.
“We won today against a really good team,” Showalter said. “God bless everybody.”