Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo was ‘steaming’ after World Series Game 3 calls

Oct 31, 2023, 1:25 PM | Updated: 2:00 pm

Manager Torey Lovullo...

Manager Torey Lovullo of the Arizona Diamondbacks in a 4-2 NLDS Game 3 win against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023. (Felisa Cardenas/Arizona Sports)

(Felisa Cardenas/Arizona Sports)

On a 3-1 count in the bottom of the ninth inning, Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Gabriel Moreno took an outside pitch and began trotting to first base for his walk.

After two steps down the baseline he was forced to return to the batters box by home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez, who called the pitch a strike.

Perhaps it was a makeup call from a squeezed ball 2, but the outcome of the at-bat turned from a clear walk to a groundout, and Texas held on for a 3-1 win.

The Rangers took the lead in the third inning after first baseman Nathaniel Lowe worked a nine-pitch at bat that led to a double and a run scored. A ball called at the knees extended the at-bat, although it was much closer than the pitch to Moreno.

After the game, manager Torey Lovullo said there were ball/strike calls that didn’t go Arizona’s way but he didn’t think they were the difference in the game. But his frustration came out going into Tuesday morning.

“I looked at it all,” manager Torey Lovullo said on Tuesday. “I was up at 3:30 this morning steaming mad. So I’ll leave it right there.”

The walk would have brought the tying run to plate with a lot of momentum in the D-backs favor after scoring in the previous inning.

Lovullo made a point that baseball is too hard to dwell on the past, so he tried to flush any ill feelings heading to the ballpark for Game 4 of the World Series on Tuesday. The manager said he was sure there was frustration after the loss but wanted to see everyone attack the next day normally.

ESPN’s Buster Olney told Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta on Tuesday morning he thinks the MLB should change its rules when it comes to assigning umpires in the playoffs.

“If you have three umpires who are really good at calling balls and strikes, let those guys call balls and strikes during the World Series and rotate the veteran umpires who aren’t as good at calling balls and strikes to other spots. I do feel like we’re overdue for a change in how they handle that,” Olney said.

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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo was ‘steaming’ after World Series Game 3 calls