San Francisco Giants’ Season Ends With Disputed Check-Swing Call By Umpire
An outstanding season for the San Francisco Giants came to an abrupt end when Wilmer Flores was called out on a disputed check-swing to end a 2-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers during game five of the National League Division Series.
“It looked like he didn’t go. I mean, that was my take on it,” Giant’s manager Gabe Kapler said. “I just think it’s just a disappointing way to end. It’s heightened on the last play of the game … in this case a check-swing.”
“That’s going to be the thing that is talked about quite a bit and I understand why,” he said. “I just don’t know how much sense it makes to, for us, on our side, to pick that apart. I don’t know how much, how helpful it’s going to be.”
A runner on first and two outs, TV replays showed Flores holding up on a low-and-away slider that missed the strike zone. Plate umpire Doug Eddings checked with the first-base umpire, Gabe Morales, who ruled Flores had swung.
Check-swings are judgment calls and are not reviewable under Major League Baseball replay rules.
“Super tough. Yeah, I mean, obviously you don’t want a game to end that way. I know these guys work really hard to make the right call, so it’s super challenging on our end. Obviously, it’s going to be frustrating to have a game end like that. But a pretty high-quality hitter at the plate that can climb back into that count, it’s no guarantee of success at the end of the at-bat. It’s just a tough way to end it,” Kapler said.
Morales said that “check-swings are one of the hardest calls we have. I don’t have the benefit of multiple camera angles when I’m watching it live. When it happened live I thought he went, so that’s why I called it a swing.”
Morales said he had seen a replay of the last pitch. When asked if whether he still thought it was a swing, the crew chief Ted Barrett answered, “Yeah, no, we, yeah, yeah, he doesn’t want to say.”
However, the 42,275 attendants had a more complete view of the swing. Fans erupted in anger after Morales’ call. Some fans threw cans of beer at the Dodgers when they came out of the dugout, trash could be seen on the outfield grass and chants of anger could be heard all across the stadium.
It was an abrupt end to a year that a few people saw coming out of spring training, especially for a team like the Giants who hadn’t finished over .500 since 2016.