The San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers engaged in an incredible regular season battle for 162 games in the NL West. The Giants — a team widely picked to miss the playoffs at the start of the season — won 107 games, and held off the 106-win Dodgers to claim the division crown. Those were the two highest win totals in MLB. After LA beat the St. Louis Cardinals in the Wild Card round, the Dodgers and Giants met again in a best-of-five series in the NLDS.
This series always felt destined to go to the distance, and that’s exactly what happened. Game 5 was an instant classic pitcher’s duel between San Francisco starter Logan Webb and what ultimately turned out to be a bullpen game for the Dodgers. The game was tied 1-1 going into the top of the ninth when Cody Bellinger drove in Justin Turner to give the Dodgers a one-run lead. Dodgers had ace Max Scherzer on the mound to close it out.
The Giants got a baserunner on in the top of the ninth when Kris Bryant reached first with one out thanks to an error at third by Justin Turner. After an out by LaMonte Wade Jr., the Giants were down to their final out with first baseman Wilmer Flores up at the plate.
With two strikes, Scherzer threw a pitch outside the zone and Flores appeared to check his swing. Instead, the umpires ruled he went, and the game ended on a strikeout. Here’s a look at the call:
Here are a few more angles:
That looks like a textbook check swing to me. Unfortunately, first base umpire Gabe Morales called it a swinging strike out.
What a terrible way for an awesome game to end.
Baseball’s reigning champions are still alive, and the Dodgers are going to the NLCS to face the Atlanta Braves.