Don Mattingly, who had to take over as manager after the separate ejections of Joe Torre and Bob Schaefer, went to the mound for a ninth-inning chat with closer Broxton before Andres Torres came up. Mattingly took a few steps off the dirt toward the dugout before turning around and advising first baseman James Loney what depth to play.
"It's not the first mistake I've made and it's not going to be the last, but I look at it like it's the last time I'm making that mistake," said Mattingly, adding that he didn't realize he had stepped too far off the mound until Johnson yelled, "No, no, no" at him.
Rule 8.06 (d) states a manager or coach is considered to have concluded his visit to the mound when he leaves the 18-foot circle surrounding the pitcher's rubber.
However, Rule 8.06 Comment says: "In a case where a manager has made his first trip to the mound and then returns the second time to the mound in the same inning with the same pitcher in the game and the same batter at bat, after being warned by the umpire that he cannot return to the mound, the manager shall be removed from the game and the pitcher required to pitch to the batter until he is retired or gets on base. After the batter is retired, or becomes a baserunner, then this pitcher must be removed from the game."
In other words, Broxton should have faced Torres before being relieved.
Instead, Giants manager Bruce Bochy protested that Mattingly's about-face constituted a double trip to the mound. The umpires huddled and agreed, and Broxton had to leave the game.
"Let's be honest, it's kind of a nitpicking rule, but it is a rule that you can't leave that 18-foot circle and go back," Bochy said.
Left-hander George Sherrill replaced Broxton and allowed a two-run double to Torres to give the Giants the lead in a game they won 7-5.
The mistake was discovered after the game in a rehash with league umpiring evaluators. If the Dodgers had protested the game, there is a chance the protest would have been upheld and the game replayed. The Dodgers did not protest the game.
Torre contended that Broxton should have been allowed to pitch to Torres before leaving, something the veteran manager said he wasn't clear on until Wednesday.
Bochy agreed with Torre that Broxton should have faced Torres.
"It's unfortunate, I guess, as far as when you're trying to interpret the rules and what's the right thing to do," he said. "They probably would have [had grounds to protest], and it might have caused everybody to review the rules."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.