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Division Series Day 7: Winner-Take-All Game Ends on Check Swing Call

Back view of umpire making call at home plate. Three balls, two strikes

The Dodgers’ victory in Game 4 of their Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers set up a decisive Game 5 and managerial chess match. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts decided to go with an opener, while Gabe Kapler sent Game 1 winner Logan Webb back to the mound for the Giants.

Dodgers 2, Giants 1

Dodgers win series 3-2

W: Kenley Jansen
L: Camilo Doval
S: Max Scherzer

Webb pitched seven innings of one-run baseball and struck out seven Dodgers batters. Los Angeles opened the scoring with Corey Seager‘s RBI double against Webb in the 6th inning. Darin Ruf answered on behalf of San Francisco with a solo homer in the bottom of the inning. The game remained locked up at 1-1 until the 9th inning.

With two on and one out in the 9th inning, Cody Bellinger was due up against Doval. Bellinger, who finished the regular season with a 45 OPS+, lined a double into right field to drive in the go-ahead run. The pitch was the fourth consecutive slider delivered by Doval in the at-bat.

Scherzer took over in the 9th inning looking for the first save of his MLB career. After Kris Bryant reached on a one-out single, “Mad Max” struck out LaMonte Wade and Wilmer Flores to end the game. Flores was called out on a check swing third strike, which not only is a terrible way to end a winner-take-all postseason game, it is a non-reviewable call. There should be a system in place to review potential game-ending calls, especially in the postseason.

A pair of underwhelming League Championship Series matchups are now set. The ALCS will start on Friday at 8:07 PM ET with the Houston Astros hosting the Boston Red Sox. The Dodgers will meet the Atlanta franchise for Game 1 of the NLCS on Saturday at 8:07 PM ET.

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