For eight innings, Game 5 of the NLDS between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants was a standstill, chock-full of tension and drama that fans crave during October. The ninth inning, however, featured series-ending controversy and season-ending heartbreak. An unsatisfying final scene.
With two outs and the tying run on base, Giants first baseman Wilmer Flores struck out on a disputed check-swing call by first-base umpire Gabe Morales, sealing a 2-1 win for the Dodgers on Thursday night at Oracle Park. After the game, Flores told reporters that he disagreed with the strike-three call, and based on multiple camera angles, his disappointment was justified.
"Define the [check-swing] rule. I just don't understand the fuzziness in 2021. It's not defined in the rulebook," Tierney said during the Tiki and Tierney show on Friday. "It was an egregious miss. I don't rate check-swings, that was really the worst one I saw all season. Flores' hands never really came disconnected. Wasn't even close... This is a 10 on the missed meter. It's not even close..."
The ending to Game 5 also spoiled theatrics from the top half of the ninth. With two on and one out, Dodgers slugger Cody Bellinger -- who hit a measly .165 this season -- played the role of hero, driving in the go-ahead run with a line drive single to right-center field. Quite an opportune time for redemption.
Los Angeles, which clinched its eighth trip to the NLCS since 2008, will visit the Atlanta Braves for Game 1 on Saturday night. According to FiveThirtyEight projections, the Dodgers have a league-best 70-percent chance to reach the World Series and a 53-percent chance to become the first repeat champion since 2000.
The entire Dodgers-Giants conversation between Tiki and Tierney can be accessed in the audio player above.