First-base umpire Gabe Morales came under fire Thursday night for calling San Francisco Giants batter Wilmer Flores out after it appeared he had checked his swing.
After the Los Angeles Dodgers solidified the victory over the Giants in Game 5 of the National League Division Series, Morales explained what he saw.
San Francisco Giants’ Wilmer Flores, right, is called out swinging in front of Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Will Smith for the final out of the ninth inning of Game 5 of a baseball National League Division Series Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)
“The plate umpire appealed the check swing to me. I thought he went, so I called it a swing,” Morales said, via MLB.com. “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.”
Flores said after the game he didn’t think he went around.
Home plate umpire Gabe Morales during the Toronto Blue Jays’ MLB game against the Boston Red Sox at Rogers Centre on August 9, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
“I don’t think I went. Every at-bat matters in a close game, but there are some things you can’t control,” he said.
Ultimately, it was Cody Bellinger who gave the Dodgers the late-game heroics, singling home Justin Turner in the top of the ninth inning to give Los Angeles the 2-1 lead.
Pitcher Max Scherzer would make the final appearance and strike out Flores.
Los Angeles Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger reacts after hitting an RBI single against the San Francisco Giants during the ninth inning of Game 5 of a baseball National League Division Series Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)
Los Angeles will play the Atlanta Braves in the National League Championship Series for the right to go to the World Series. The defending-champion Dodgers will look to play for the title for the fourth time in five years.
The Giants, who won the National League West division with 107 wins, will have to watch the remainder of the playoffs from home.