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Dodgers: NLDS Umpire Gives His Take on the Checked Swing Call Heard Around the World



The Dodgers came back down 2 games to 1 and defeated the Giants in the NLDS. After a full year of the 2 NL West teams exchanging blows in the division race, Los Angeles moves on and kicked San Francisco out of the postseason. 

Naturally, Game 5 came with every bit of drama that you would expect from the Dodgers and Giants. That included a controversial checked-swing call that ended the game. Luckily, this time it was Los Angeles that benefited. 

Wilmer Flores appeared to check his swing on the replay, though it was very close. Dodgers pitcher Max Scherzer got the ball though, and that ended the game with Los Angles up 2-1. After the game, umpire Gabe Morales explained his viewpoint and the decision to ring up Flores. 

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.

The call was certainly tough in the first place, but the fact that it ended the game made it wildly controversial. And while Scherzer was pitching very well, the Giants would no doubt love to have that one back. But the Dodgers will certainly take it. 

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But the call sort of makes up for one that went against the Giants earlier in the year. Fans in Los Angeles certainly remember Darin Ruf’s non-call during Summer and how that kept them 1 game away from the division. We’ll call it even. 

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

Comments

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  1. Fortunately or unfortunately,that’s how it goes in baseball.It’s up to the umpires discretion.Calling a pitch that’s six inches off the plate a strike or deciding on a check swing.The bat swung our way and we’ll take it!

  2. LIKE I TOLD A GOOD GIANT FRIEND OF MINE, ( THE TEAM WITH THE BETTER BULL PEN WON, THIS TIME).

  3. I would check your spelling or ‘heard’ in the title of this article.

    Right now it reads ‘head’

    You need an editor

  4. Well none of us will forget that all to obvious swing by Ruff in July that the ump ruled he checked his swing, which eventually led to Jansen blowing the save and Dodgers losing that game. But IIWII.

    • Yes that also cost the Dodgers the division and home field advantage too if I recall. This swing was pretty close. Could’ve went either way.

  5. Does the game need to be perfect. In the old days with no replays the game lasted 2hrs and you went home. Today 3+hrs and people still complain. Umpire made a call.Preiod end of issue. Get over it. Ok that’s my rant but i love the game.

  6. Surreal how the very game that haunted us to the end of the regular season comes back to help us. Even without that call, Mad Max was dialed in for the win in my view.

  7. I am just glad the pitcher didn’t have to get more than 4 outs. Hopefully we have the DH next year. My question, is this truly the best set of umpires available. You have the two best teams going against each other and I am sorry but that could not be the best set of umpires.

  8. Brook, you said it makes up for a call that went against the Giants. You got that one wrong also, because you should have said “Dodgers”. You really need to have somebody proof read your articles or else you need to do it, but your lack of attention leaves much to be desired.

  9. We get the pain. But umpires are human, they make calls in real-time and at different angles and distances than cameras. That call can happen to any team at any time. That’s baseball. The players understand this and move on.

  10. No doubt. The Dodgers will win it in 6 or 7 Motivation is the Boston or HOUSTON grudge match. The Boston/Houston prediction is more tricky. The way this BLUE sees it, it will depend on which team will cheat more and get away with it. Will it be those trashcan lids banging away in the clubhouse basement, or will it be the dark angel in the outfield flashing signals from a compact mirror. Regardless, with all those signs being stolen, the series should feature high-scoring games.

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