The San Diego Padres jumped out to an early lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 2 of the NLDS after trailing for all of Game 1. Manny Machado took a 2-1 Clayton Kershaw offering over the left field wall to put the Padres up 1-0.
Freddie Freeman responded on a 3-1 Yu Darvish breaking ball with two outs with a towering home run to dead center field in the bottom of the first. After Kershaw escaped a big jam in the top of the second, Max Muncy wanted to make sure his starting pitcher could pitch with a lead.
Muncy led off the bottom of the second with another towering home run off of a Yu Darvish breaking ball, this time to right field. While Muncy was the one that pulled the trigger to slug the hanging breaking ball, he should not have even had a chance to do so.
With a 0-2 count, Darvish threw a looping curve ball at 69 miles per hour that broke right over the middle of the plate. What should have been strike three was ruled a ball, giving Muncy more life to deliver the go-ahead blast.
Dodgers fans certainly won’t complain about this missed call against the Padres.
Look, we all know that umpiring is not perfect and that robot umps are coming in the near future. The Dodgers have had plenty of calls throughout the postseason that have not gone their way, so it is nice to have one actually break in the team’s favor.
Remember when Adrian Gonzalez was very obviously safe in the NLCS against the Chicago Cubs in 2016 but replay still called him out? That call derailed all of the Dodgers’ momentum and swung it back in favor of the Cubs. Dodgers fans know a thing or two about a blown call.
At the end of the day, Darvish still had plenty of chances to put Muncy away as he was ahead 1-2 in the count. He was not able to do so, and instead, decided to loop a hanging breaking ball to the slugging left-hander with two strikes. Probably not a great idea.
It does not matter if the Dodgers win by just one or if they win by five, Padres fans will still blame this one singular call as the reason why they lost. They melted down after Mike Clevinger’s stinker in Game 1, so expect it to happen again with this call.