The NLDS, and the San Francisco Giants season, ended on a blown call that ages worse each time someone looks at the replay.
We knew a win-or-go-home postseason game between the Dodgers-Giants would add an extra layer to one of the best rivalries in baseball, but Game 5 of the NLDS delivered in ways we couldn’t have foreseen.
Specifically it’s how the game ended that will become an endlessly talked about moment in the rivalry.
Max Scherzer was on the mound to try and close the series out, and Wilmer Wilmer was at bat and down to the Giants final strike of the season. With Kris Bryant on first representing the winning run, Flores checked his swing on a 0-2 pitch from Scherzer, when the home plate umpire deferred to his counterpart down the first base line.
Gabe Morales was the first base ump and called it a third strike, which is how the Giants season ended.
Giants got screwed by horrible check swing called by Gabe Morales
The game ended on a called third strike on a check swing — something that rarely happens in the regular season let alone a series-deciding postseason game.
It was a questionable call at best in real time but a replay quickly revealed that the call was absolutely horrendously wrong.
Given how amazing the entire series was, specifically how intense Game 5 was, to have things end with a horrible call from an umpire feels cheap. The Giants, who won 109 games this season, watched their World Series dreams die on a blown call — one that isn’t reversible.
Check swings are not reviewable, but this might be a perfect case for MLB changing the rule to make it something that can be reviewed in the future. It’s not like the blown call happened on a random Tuesday in August; the NLDS was decided by a check swing call that was undeniably the wrong call.
Maybe Flores would have struck out on the next pitch, maybe he wouldn’t have. We’ll never find out but Dodgers and Giants fans will be talking about this one for as long as the rivalry is alive.