Let’s face it Dodger fans, the checked swing call on Wilmer Flores to end Game 5 of the Dodgers-Giants division series was a bad call. Flores did not swing and the game should have continued. Max Scherzer probably would have gotten him out anyway, we’ll never know. And 20 years from now, no one will care except for the Giants and some of their fans.
However, Dodgers fans will also be quick to point out a horrible check swing call earlier this season that cost the Dodgers a game against the Giants. A call, that if called correctly, would have given the Dodgers the win. Meaning the Dodgers could have won the NL West by a game and not the Giants. Meaning Game 5 would have been at Dodger Stadium, and who know what would have happened if all that played out?
On July 22, the Dodgers were up 3-2 with two out in the ninth inning. Kenley Jansen threw a full-count pitch with the bases loaded. Darin Ruf tried to hold up his swing but clearly went around. That was a 3-2 pitch with the bases loaded. If it’s a swing and a miss on a Kenley Jansen throw, it’s game over and the Dodgers get a huge win as they chase the Giants in the tight NL West. First-base umpire Ed Hickox said he did not swing. Tying run walked home. The Giants eventually won the game 5-3.
On Oct. 14, The Dodgers were up 2-1 with two out in the ninth inning. Max Scherzer threw an 0-2 pitch to Wilmer Flores, he clearly checked his swing. Catcher Will Smith appealed and first-base umpire Gabe Morales said it was a swing. Game over. Dodgers move on to the NLCS, Giants go home.
It’s funny how the baseball gods have a way of evening things out. Not that it makes Giants fans feel any better.
In the tweet embedded above, Ruf’s swing is on the left, Flores’ swing is on the right. What call do you make?
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.