(UPDATE: The umpires may have blown it too, keep reading.)
Dodgers hitting coach Don Mattingly was managing because Joe Torre and bench coach Bob Schaefer had been ejected. The Giants, trailing 5-4 entering the ninth, were rallying against closer Jonathan Broxton, with runners at second and third and one out. The Dodgers had just walked Aubrey Huff to load the bases, and then Mattingly came to the mound for a conference.
Mattingly then took a couple steps toward the dugout before he stopped and returned to the mound for another few words. That brought Bochy out of his dugout to protest that Mattingly had essentially made two trips to the mound. Umpires caucused and eventually agreed.
Rule 8.06 is actually quite clear:
Mattingly, who was going back to answer first baseman James Loney's question about how deep to play, said plate umpire Adrian Johnson tried to warn him.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.
"I kind of had a feeling [it was a second trip] because Adrian was yelling 'No, no, no. You can't go back,' as I turned to talk to James," he said. "It cost us a chance to win the game."
Coincidentally, Bochy nailed former Dodgers' manager Grady Little for the same infraction when Bochy was managing the Padres in 2006.
"It's an easy mistake to make. I saw it once he went back to say a few more words," Bochy said of the Mattingly incident.
The Dodgers had to pull Broxton. George Sherrill, who was recently put on outright waivers and cleared them, entered, and he gave up a two-run double to Andres Torres. Travis Schlichting entered and gave up an RBI hit to Buster Posey, for a Giants insurance run. The Giants went on to win a game that they had trailed 5-1 after five innings.
Not only was it the Dodgers' sixth consecutive loss, but it was an unfortunate mishap for Mattingly, who has considered himself a manager-in-waiting.
A day after the incident, as more people started reading the rule, questions arose over whether the umpires had correctly interpreted the situation. Rule 8.06 continues...
"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 base runner, then this pitcher must be removed from the game. The manager should be notified that his pitcher will be removed from the game after he pitches to one hitter, so he can have a substitute pitcher warmed up.
The substitute pitcher will be allowed eight preparatory pitches or more if in the umpire's judgment circumstances justify."
From that, it would seem that Mattingly should have been ejected and Broxton forced to face Torres and then leave the game. The Dodgers didn't bother to argue that at the time, and they apparently didn't protest the game either, so it seems this is the end of it.