Contested control call on Wilmer Flores’ ‘disappointing way’ to end San Francisco Giants season, says Gabe Kapler

SAN FRANCISCO – Wilmer Flores swung – or he didn’t – and that’s it. Last call for the San Francisco Giants.

A surprising and spectacular race for the Giants ended surprisingly Thursday night. Flores slowly returned to cover after being called up for a contested failure, ending a 2-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 5 of the National League Division Series.

“Looks like he didn’t go. I mean, that was my point of view,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said.

“I just think it’s just a disappointing way to end,” he said.

Kapler added: “It escalated in the last play of the match… in this case, a failure to fail.”

“This will be the thing that we talk about a lot and I understand why,” he said. “I just don’t know how much it makes sense for us on our side to separate that. I don’t know how, how useful this is going to be.”

Kapler’s Ball Club, which set a franchise record with 107 regular season wins and had stayed ahead of the Dodgers all year, couldn’t finish the defending World Series champions in a win-win game.

Instead, the Giants’ last chance ended when Flores was called out to 0-2 by Dodgers ace Max Scherzer working in a closer role.

With a runner in the first row and two strikeouts, Flores appeared in TV reruns to hold out on a low, far slider who missed the strike zone. Home plate umpire Doug Eddings checked with first baseman Gabe Morales, who decided Flores swung. Check swings are judgment calls and are not reviewable under Major League Baseball’s replay rules.

“I mean, the immediate emotion is frustration, isn’t it?” Kapler said.

“Super tough. Yeah, I mean obviously you don’t want a game to end that way. I know these guys are working really hard to make the right decision so it’s super tough on our end. Obviously, it’s going to be frustrating to have an end of the game like that, but a very high quality hitter at home that can come up in that count is no guarantee of success at the end of the streak. It’s just a hard way to end it. “

Morales told a reporter from the pool that “Check swings are one of the toughest calls we have. I don’t get multiple camera angles when watching it live. When this happened. live, I thought he was there, that’s why I called it a swing. “

Morales said he saw a replay of the last pitch. When asked if he still thinks it was a swing, team leader Ted Barrett responded.

“Yeah, no, we, yeah, yeah, he didn’t mean it,” Barrett said.

Many in the crowd of 42,275 people had a more definitive opinion.

Fans who had spent the evening standing and waving orange towels erupted in anger at Morales’ call. Some threw cans of beer on the field as the Dodgers exited their dugout canoe, and several garbage was dumped on the grass in the outfield.

It was the abrupt end of a year that few have seen coming out of spring training, especially for a team that hadn’t finished more than 0.500 since 2016.

With World Series champions Dodgers and the San Diego Padres heavily favored, the upstart Giants have not only seen their seasoned league veterans shine, but have repeatedly mounted their multitude of new faces – including young ace Logan Webb – at the best baseball record.

They did so behind the resurgent seasons of wide receiver Buster Posey and all-star shortstop Brandon Crawford. Kris Bryant, acquired by the trade deadline, provided pop to a team that led the National League with 241 home runs.

That power was mostly lacking in the deciding game against the Dodgers. Darin Ruf’s solo shot against Julio Urias was the only point scored by the Giants.

At the end of July, Ruf had his own experience with a check-swing against Los Angeles. Referees ruled he held on – it looked like he hadn’t come close – on a full-count pitch with goals loaded and two ninth-inning strikeouts at Dodger Stadium, resulting in a tying goal in a game the Giants ultimately won.

This time the appeal went differently against his club.

“I mean, at the time I didn’t know that, but obviously we got to see the rerun and it didn’t look like he went,” Ruf said. “But a check swing earlier in the year also helped us. So it’s pretty funny how it all comes down to those two events. But, yeah, right, yeah.”

It was the 24th game this season between the rivals, and they divided them – 12 wins apiece.

The Dodgers won the last meeting and manager Dave Roberts did his best to get the final call to go his way.

“I’m trying to sell it as much as I can. So it’s baseball and, it’s baseball, and ultimately we won a baseball game,” he said.

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