PHOENIX — Something about Rule 7.13 has to change, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson believes, and he can take you to the video.
Rule 7.13 — the new blocking the plate rule — came into play in the D-backs’ 9-5 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday, this time a little more subtly than when Ryan Howard was called safe at home in a July 27 play in Philadelphia, even though he barely got close enough to wave at it.
The Dodgers scored the third run in a six-run fourth inning when the "out" call on Carl Crawford was reversed after a challenge by Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. He challenged under Rule 7.13, at the same time well aware that the whole play could be reviewed.
Replay officials in New York determined that catcher Miguel Montero had not blocked the plate, but they also ruled that Montero did not have the ball in his glove when he took center fielder Ender Inciarte’s throw on a short hop and lunged to Crawford, trying to score from second. That run made it 5-2.
"It looked to me like the ball came right up into (Montero’s) bare hand," Gibson said. "That’s a tough pick. He caught the ball, it came in his hand, he dove with his hands together. It was pretty close. They have the best angle anybody could have in New York, I know that.
"You’re at their mercy."
(Even Vin Scully had a hard time figuring it out, as you can hear and see in the video below.)
Montero, not surprisingly, was not available after the game.
What else is there to say? He already has said he would rather have the 250-pound Howard run him over than try figure out the nuances of 7.13, which requires the catcher to provide the runner with a lane to the plate.
The trouble, of course, is that they are no lane lines. A runner tagging up on a fly ball from third base is taking a completely different route than a player rounding the bag and attempting to score from second.
Asked if there will be tweaks to the rule, Gibson said: "I think there probably will be."
Gibson has compiled some plays for study.
"The whole blocking the plate thing … I think it is probably, if you went and looked at them, and I’ve saved some of them for discussion later … they are doing the best they can under the way the rule was written," Gibson said.
"But I think you see inconsistencies with the way it is interpreted."
Replays shown on the Chase Field video board show Montero tagging Crawford with his glove and raising the ball in his hand. But it did not show where the ball was at the time of the tag.
"What you see on the scoreboard is not as clear as what they look at (on reviews in New York)," Gibson said.
"He (Mattingly) did it correctly. He appealed under 7.13. I would have done the same thing."
Mattingly knew he had a couple of things going for him — rule 7.13 and the tag.
"If I can get them to look at the play at the plate, then they look at everything," Mattingly said. "You can’t really see if he’s blocking (the plate) or not, and I know that the umpires talk about it, but they’re looking at lots of stuff. It’s hard for them to look at everything, so that’s why that rule’s in place.
"The replay’s a work in progress and it will keep getting better. The language will keep getting tightened up."
Gibson is all for it.
David Peralta has worked hard on his defense with outfield instructor and first base coach Dave McKay, and it has shown. Peralta has four assists in the last 10 games after throwing out the Dodgers’ A.J. Ellis at the plate Tuesday, and it was not close enough to challenge.
38 — Outfield assists by the D-backs this season after David Peralta recorded his eighth of the season.
*After five straight quality starts, Trevor Cahill threw in a clunker. He had trouble commanding his fastball and throwing his off-speed stuff for strikes, giving up eight runs (six earned) and six hits in 3 1/3 innings. He also walked three, including two to lead off the Dodgers’ six-run fourth. "In the other games, when I got away from the fastball command, I was able to throw the off-speed stuff for strikes and get back in the count," Cahill said. "Today, none of my off-speed was working. I had to throw a lot of fastballs, and I was either wild or wild in the zone with that. They are a good team, and they are going to make you pay with that."
*Daniel Hudson pitched a perfect first inning in his first rehab appearance at Triple-A Reno on Tuesday, getting a strikeout, a groundout and a fly out. "He’s ready to go," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson. "He just needs to get innings right now." Hudson, recovering from his second Tommy John surgery, gave up one run over four innings in four appearances in the rookie Arizona League before moving up. He is expected to make another appearance for Reno on Friday and is to join the D-backs soon after rosters expand Sept. 1.
*A CT scan on Paul Goldschmidt’s left hand Monday confirmed an earlier diagnosis that he will not need surgery on the fourth metacarpal that was fractured when he was hit by a pitch by Pirates right-hander Ernesto Frieri on Aug. 1. "It looks good," Gibson said. "He’s healing." Goldschmidt is scheduled to have another CT scan in two weeks, and if things are still good then would begin strengthening work.
*Ender Inciarte tied a career-high with three RBI and has seven in his last nine games.
That was one way to stretch out Randall Delgado for a possible return to the starting rotation. Delgado pitched three innings in relief of Trevor Cahill, giving up one run and five hits. The D-backs have talked about giving Delgado a start or two in September, but nothing has been finalized. Delgado also pitched three innings against Kansas City on Aug. 7.