Gabe Kapler explains Giants-Dodgers’ strange delay in first inning

Kapler explains Giants-Dodgers’ strange first-inning delay originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

LOS ANGELES — As the Dodgers began batting practice Friday afternoon, Joc Pederson came out of the cage to catch up with a few old teammates. Two hours later, Giants manager Gabe Kapler ended his team’s session by spending an extended period with former colleague Andrew Friedman, president of Los Angeles baseball operations.

These teams may have closer ties than they ever have, but it’s still a rivalry, and a reminder of that was only given four pitches in Friday’s game.

Dodgers pitching coach Mark Prior went to the mound to meet with starting pitcher Tyler Anderson, who did not appear injured. Afterwards, the umpires gathered and met with Kapler, while first baseman coach Antoan Richardson spent time chatting with first baseman Alfonso Marquez.

It was a strange sequence, especially when the game resumed without any changes. After the Dodgers 5-1 victory, manager Dave Roberts explained that his team was concerned Richardson was passing signs to leadoff batter Austin Slater. Giants manager Gabe Kapler said umpires told Richardson to make sure he stayed in the first base coaches box. When asked if he knew who had complained, Kapler noted that referees usually didn’t mention him.

“I think that’s part of their job, is to protect those conversations,” Kapler said. “The information I got was that Antoan was to be in the first base coaching box and they would enforce that for both teams.”

The brief moment of confusion recalled the first series these teams faced after Kapler took over. The Dodgers complained about the Giants’ delay in announcing pitching odds and lineups, with Roberts saying the Giants were showing a bit of “mandate.”

There was no drama at the time or on Friday night. After the delay, Anderson, who shrugged it off, pulled Slater out to kick off what was a pretty strong night for the former Giants left-hander. Richardson had been positioned near the edge of the outfield dirt for the first four pitches, moved about 20 feet closer to the plate and stood along the line painted in the grass.

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It was a pretty quiet night from there until Cody Bellinger’s winning slam. Afterwards, Kapler said he didn’t think the Giants had done anything wrong.

“I can’t talk about what Dave was talking to the umpires about, but I think it’s part of baseball,” he said. “I don’t know if our guy was doing anything there, but I understand why it’s on the managers’ minds around the game.”