LOS ANGELES -- Forget the travails of some slumping hitters. The managers took oh-fers here in the Phillies' 7-3 win over the Dodgers in Thursday night's series finale at Dodger Stadium when it came to challenging the umpires' calls.
Both Los Angeles' Don Mattingly and Philadelphia's Ryne Sandberg challenged calls, and neither was overturned.
As things turned out, the call that went against the Dodgers in the fifth inning, when Mattingly lost a crew-chief review on a play in which Hanley Ramirez was tagged out at the plate, was the more significant of the two.
Catcher Carlos Ruiz caught the ball, dropped his right leg to block the plate and tagged Ramirez out standing up as called by plate umpire Mike Di Muro.
"I was lucky," Ruiz said. "[The throw took me] to the side of the plate.
"It's hard, because those plays happen so fast you don't have time to think."
Mattingly came out immediately to argue that Ruiz had blocked Ramirez's path to the plate, an infraction under new rules implemented this year to avoid home-plate collisions. But a review called by crew chief Hunter Wendelstedt confirmed the ruling.
"It seems like [the umpires] are a lot like us -- up in the air with that rule," Mattingly said. "I'm sure it will continue to improve. It's a work in progress."
Mattingly said there was no explanation from the umpires because, simply, the replay official in New York tells them safe or out and that's the end of it.
Part of the issue seemed to be Ramirez made no effort to slide, instead going in standing up, easily out by several steps thanks to the great throw from Asche. Mattingly took issue with Ruiz's right leg blocking the plate as the catcher received the throw and made the tag on his knees.
"To me, he doesn't give [Ramirez] a place to go," Mattingly said. "That's what I thought the rule was. You can't set up with nowhere to go. He doesn't have a place to slide before the throw. That's the way we understood it.
"This rule is one of the toughest to call. We thought so in Spring Training, especially the ball in the infield. The ball from the outfield, the catcher has more time."
As you might expect, the out call was the obvious call from the Philadelphia dugout. Sandberg's view was that Asche's throw took Ruiz across the plate with it and that Ramirez still had "the inside lane" even with Ruiz's leg in front of the plate. Had the replay official reversed the call, Sandberg said, his reaction "would not have been pretty."
Then in the sixth inning with the Phillies clinging to a 3-2 lead, Wendelstedt ruled Juan Uribe safe at first on a bang-bang play following a ground ball to deep shortstop. Freddy Galvis double-pumped before throwing the ball and appeared slow to release it, but the Phillies thought the throw still beat Uribe.
The call would stand after the inconclusive replay review, but Uribe advanced only as far as second base before the inning ended.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. Scott Miller is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.