The Loop

Ball Don't Lie

Giants lose NLDS on botched check-swing call after winning NL West on botched check-swing call, karma a confirmed b****

October 15, 2021

Thursday was another legendary evening for sports officials across the globe. Over on the gridiron, the zebs called both of these incomplete …

… while also protecting Tom Brady from being blocked during a live interception return.

Not a great look, to be sure, but it paled in comparison to what happened at Oracle Park in the bottom of the ninth inning of the Dodgers and Giants’ impossibly hyped Game 5 showdown. With the Giants trailing 2-1 and their final strike, Dodgers closer Max Scherzer (I know, I know, crazy!) threw Wilmer Flores one to look at. Flores did exactly that … and was promptly called out on the check swing heard ‘round the world. Game over. Series over. Goodnight.

Flores clearly checks his swing. That’s a fact. It’s indisputable given the video evidence, and if it were a reviewable play, first-base umpire Gabe Morales would have seen that as well. But it's not a reviewable play (at least for now) and Giants fans were left to simply wonder why, God, whyyyyy.

As it turns out, there might actually be answer to that question: Because karma is a b*tch.

In late July, with the Dodgers and Giants locked in a heated NL-West battle, the Giants trailed their rivals 3-2 in the ninth inning. Down to their final strike (sound familiar?) Darin Ruf, who blasted the Giants lone run of the evening on Thursday, appeared to go around on a pitch that would have ended the ballgame. First-base umpire Ed Hickox didn’t think so, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts got ejected, and on the game went. The Giants made the most of their second chance, coming back to win 5-3, and by the end of September, that solitary game is all that stood between the two teams in the NL West standings. Shakespeare would be jealous of such poetry.

Ruf even said as much after the bitter Game 5 loss.

So yes, the Giants were (potentially) robbed. Yes, the umpires stink. But the ball didn’t lie. Everything came out in the wash. The cookie crumbled, as all cookies eventually do. It's just sports. Go read a book if you don’t like it.