The National League Division Series between the Giants and Dodgers was expected to be epic and it lived up to the hype.
The Dodgers, who won 106 regular-season games, defeated the Giants, winners of 107 games, in a five-game series that went down to the last strike.
Los Angeles won 2-1 in Game 5 on Thursday night, but there was controversy on the final out.
San Francisco’s Kris Bryant was at first with two outs when Wilmer Flores came to bat against LA’s Max Scherzer, a former Mizzou Tiger and starting pitcher who was called on to close out the game. Flores fell behind 0-2 and appeared to check his swing on an pitch from Scherzer.
Instead, first-base umpire Gabe Morales called it strike three, ending the series. Here is the play:
“I don’t think I went,” Flores said, per MLB.com. “Every at-bat matters in a close game, but there are some things you can’t control.”
Morales told NBC Sports after the game he had viewed a replay of Flores’ plate appearance.
“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.”
What does the MLB rulebook say about check swings? Nothing. There is no mention on whether or not a bat “crosses the plane” or a batter’s “wrists broke.”
“It’s one of the toughest calls we have because of the lack of rule clarity and it happens very quickly,” Former MLB umpire Dale Scott told Jomboy Media’s Erica Block. “I wish I could tell you to look for one or two specific things but the reality is it is several.
“The general concept, did the hitter offer (swing) at the pitch? Most pitchers say yes, hitters not so much. Sometimes the bat moves very little but he offered, other times it moves a lot but he in fact checked it (didn’t offer). It comes down to judgment, something everyone has but can vary wildly.”
Brady’s ‘warm welcome’ in Philly
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers downed the Eagles 28-22 in Philadelphia in a “Thursday Night Football” game, and quarterback Tom Brady had another solid game. Brady completed 34 of 42 passes for 297 yards and two touchdowns.
Bradshaw catches himself
Before Thursday’s game, Fox Sports showed an interview between Erin Andrews and Tampa Bay’s Devin White. After it aired, the studio crew came on and Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw praised how Andrews looked.
“You’ve got your cowboy boots on. And your shirt,” Bradshaw said. “You’re looking good.”
Bradshaw, 73, quickly pivoted back to the interview but a few people on social media cringed at the interaction.
The Red Wings’ Tyler Bertuzzi put on a show, scoring four goals against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night. That included this fantastic play:
Unfortunately for the Red Wings, they suffered a historic collapse as the Lightning won 7-6 in overtime in Detroit.
One team did so in the playoffs: on April 17, 1977, the Flyers trailed by 3 goals until scoring with 5:49 left to spark a comeback win at Toronto.
— Stats By STATS (@StatsBySTATS) October 15, 2021