LOS ANGELES -- The Brewers benefited from the "Chase Utley" slide rule in the Dodgers' 4-0 loss in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series on Monday.
Cody Bellinger grounded into a 3-6 force play with no outs in the fourth, with Manny Machado out at second. But the Brewers immediately challenged, arguing that Machado had violated the slide rule into second base. Machado raised his arm as he slid into Brewers shortstop Orlando Arcia. He also slid to the left of the bag.
The Brewers' hunch paid off. The replay official in New York determined that Machado failed to engage in a proper slide and impeded Arcia with his arm.
:: NLCS schedule and results ::
"We talk about it a lot when you go into second base that you have to really make an attempt to hold on to the bag or not try to -- it's a safe play, as far as trying to protect the infielder," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "And so Manny knows that. We talk about it all the time. And they looked at the review and they got it right. Because you do have to make a very good effort to hold on to the bag, and apparently we didn't."
It resulted in a double play, and a groundout by Yasiel Puig ended the inning one batter later. Bellinger probably would have beaten the throw from Arcia, even if Machado had not done anything. He reached first base in just 4.17 seconds, showing elite sprint speed (30.3 ft/sec).
"I don't even know the rule," Bellinger said. "I thought I was going to be safe, whether he slid into the base or not. I definitely didn't see it, but I definitely would have been safe."
But the Brewers had their eye on Machado. They took issue with his slide on a fielder's choice by Bellinger in the second inning, too. They did not challenge that play.
"[Umpire Jim Wolf] said Orlando [Arcia] didn't try to make a throw on that [first] play, and that is a factor in whether they will consider an illegal slide if the guy doesn't attempt to finish the double play," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "Well, the next time he did try to complete it. And we made a throw to first. And Machado was past the bag on the slide, and so we checked it immediately. And our guys in the replay room did a nice job being aggressive with the call."