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Umpire scorecard shows missed calls impacted Giants in loss in LA originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

How can one add fire to an already heated Giants-Los Angeles Dodgers rivalry? A little umpire controversy, of course.

The Giants dropped the first contest of their three-game series against their biggest foes Monday, but a handful of incorrect calls could have swayed the final 8-3 result.

While it might not have been the reason they lost the game, given the other issues that came to light in the defeat, uneven officiating is the last thing either fanbase wants to experience given how tense the matchups already are.

Some calls umpire Dan Bellino made behind the plate had Giants players, coaches and fans increasingly frustrated and confused, and Tuesday morning’s umpire scorecard gave them all the reason to be.

Bellino missed 10 strikes and, on the other side of things, incorrectly called six strikes that were thrown out of the strike zone.

The most impactful missed calls all affected San Francisco, with the first one coming in the top of the first when Dodgers starter James Paxton tossed an 84 mph cutter to Austin Slater that was ruled a strike but should have been ball two.

The other two came later in the game, when the Giants continued to battle despite a three-run inning from the Dodgers in the sixth.

In the top of the seventh, with runners on first and second and one out, Matt Chapman took the one-ball, two-strike pitch from Dodgers pitcher Joe Kelly thinking it was ball two, but Bellino ruled it as strike three. Wilmer Flores came up to bat next and singled as LaMonte Wade Jr. scored to bring the 6-1 deficit to 6-2, but had Chapman’s at-bat been properly called, it could have been more than just a one-run inning.

The third missed call that hurt the Giants came in the following inning when Michael Conforto should have taken ball four from Dodgers pitcher Dinelson Lamet, but instead, Lamet’s 93 mph sinker was called strike one. Conforto eventually flied out for San Francisco’s second out.

Plus-0.65 in favor for Los Angeles in a five-run game, momentum changes everything and could have made Monday a completely different game.

Bellino ended the night with an overall accuracy of 92 percent with an overall consistency of 91 percent. His 96 percent called ball accuracy and 83 percent called strike accuracy leaned in the Dodgers’ favor, creating .65 runs for Los Angeles.

That doesn’t seem as big of a deal as it is in a five-run win. But baseball is a game of momentum, and one missed call could have changed everything.

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