SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — The San Francisco Giants’ magical season came to an end Thursday night following a controversial check-swing call — and fans are furious.
Down 0-2 with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th and a runner on first, Wilmer Flores stepped to the plate hoping to save the Giants’ winningest season in franchise history.
The following “swing” was confirmed as strike three by first base umpire Gabe Morales to end the game.
But photos and videos of the at bat show otherwise.
Check-swing calls are not reviewable, meaning the Giants and a packed Oracle Park had to watch the Dodgers celebrate on their home turf.
Immediately after the game, “Giants”, “Flores” and “Gabe Morales” were trending on social media.
Considering the circumstances surrounding the game — one of the greatest rivalries in sports history, the two best teams in baseball playing in a NL Division Series decisive Game 5, the rivalries playing each other for the first time ever in the post season — Giants fans and baseball fans around the world had a lot to say about the call.
It reached a point where Morales’ Wikipedia page was changed.
“Gabriel Morales in an American Major League Baseball umpire. He is legally blind,” the posting reads.
Under the “Special Assignments” section, “Ruining the Division Series (2021)” was written, along with: “He’s known for somehow being a worse umpire than Angel Hernandez.”
But Dodgers fans and those on the other side view things a bit differently.
For one, some brought up Flores’ numbers against Max Scherzer and throughout the NLDS.
Flores was 0-17 with 8 strikeouts versus Scherzer and finished 1-12 in the series.
Giants manager Gabe Kapler didn’t want the point the finger for their season ending on the check-swing call, rather attributing the loss to other things.
“There’s no reason to be angry,” Kapler said. “It’s just a disappointing way to end it. But there are other reasons we lost that game.”
Another rebuttal brought up was yet another controversial check-swing call back in July that ultimately decided the difference between the Giants and the Dodgers in the NL West standings.
Back on July 22, the Dodgers lost a home game to the Giants partly because of a missed call on Darin Ruf’s check swing.
The call was pretty clear and sparked a lot of outrage, so when the Giants lost Friday’s game after a check-swing call — Ruf acknowledged the irony.
Ruf said he didn’t think Floes went, but pointed out his own check swing call went his way at the end of the season to help them win the division.
“But obviously we’ve been able to see the replay and it didn’t look like he went, but a check swing earlier in the year helped us out too,” Ruf said. “So it’s kind of funny how it comes down to those two events. But, yeah, just, yeah.”