Did he swing?
It will be a question asked for years to come and debated for a lifetime.
First base umpire Gabe Morales rang up San Francisco Giants first baseman Wilmer Flores on a check swing, third strike to end Game 5 of the National League Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers in dramatic fashion.
Morales addressed the call after the game: “The plate umpire appealed the check swing to me, I thought he went, so I called it a swing.”
When asked if he saw the replay after the game, Morales said he did.
Did he feel the same way?
“Check swings are one of the hardest calls we have,” Morales said. “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.”
It ends up as a controversial call, with the Dodgers advancing to the NL Championship Series to face the Atlanta Braves, beginning Saturday.
“It’s super tough,” said Giants manager Gabe Kapler of the call. “Obviously you don’t want a game to end that way … there’s no guarantee of success in that at-bat, but it’s just a tough way to end it.”
The Giants, hoping for a walk-off win, faced three-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer in the bottom of the ninth. With one out, Giants center fielder Kris Bryant reached first base on a fielding error by Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner. Scherzer then struck out pinch-hitter LaMonte Wade Jr. on five pitches for the second out.
Down to their last chance, Scherzer tossed an 89.7 mph slider past Flores, who was called out on a check swing heard ’round the world, sending the 107-win Giants home for the winter.
After the game, Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts was honest when asked about the call.
“I didn’t think he went,” he said in a TBS interview. “But I’m not the one who makes the decisions. It is what it is.”