Giants lean on controversial balk call in 8th to beat Brewers, fans unhappy

Giants lean on controversial balk call in 8th to beat Brewers, fans unhappy

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The San Francisco Giants and Milwaukee Brewers’ series this weekend has been nothing short of dramatic, and the ending of Saturday’s game added to the theater.

The Giants had the bases loaded in the eighth inning with two outs and Mike Yastrzemski up at bat facing Brewers reliever Jandel Gustave. Yastrzemski, the grandson of Boston Red Sox great Carl Yastrzemski, hit a walk-off grand slam Friday night.

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Wilmer Flores was on third base, Darin Ruf was on second base and Evan Longoria had gotten to first base after getting hit by a pitch.

Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Jandel Gustave reacts after being called for a balk that scored San Francisco Giants' Wilmer Flores during the eighth inning in San Francisco Saturday, July 16, 2022. 

Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Jandel Gustave reacts after being called for a balk that scored San Francisco Giants’ Wilmer Flores during the eighth inning in San Francisco Saturday, July 16, 2022.  (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Gustave had a 1-2 count on Yastrzemski and appeared to step off the mound when home plate umpire Pat Hoberg called a balk. Flores trotted home, and the Giants closed the door in the ninth for the 2-1 win.

Several Brewers players shook their heads in disagreement with the call when watching it on the replay. MLB fans on Twitter were also unsure of where the balk was.

Brewers manager Craig Counsell was also in disbelief.

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“Apparently, they saw a little flinch when he came up, something that wasn’t normal,” he told reporters, via MLB.com. “The guy saw a balk, he called it.”

The San Francisco Giants' Wilmer Flores, left, is congratulated by Mike Yastrzemski after scoring against the Milwaukee Brewers during the eighth inning in San Francisco Saturday, July 16, 2022. 

The San Francisco Giants’ Wilmer Flores, left, is congratulated by Mike Yastrzemski after scoring against the Milwaukee Brewers during the eighth inning in San Francisco Saturday, July 16, 2022.  (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

However, crew chief umpire Bruce Dreckman said it was a “pretty cut and dry” call.

“It’s a start and a stop,” he told a pool reporter. “When they start bringing their hands up, they can’t just bring them up and stop in mid-stroke of their pitching delivery.”

Ruf scored the other run in the game on a homer off Brewers starter Eric Lauer.

“It’s nice to win some of these close games,” Yastrzemski said. “We’ve had some heartbreakers this year where we’ve lost by one run when we’ve been in the game. It’s nice to just be on the winning side of that.”

Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell walks to the dugout after making a pitching change during the eighth inning against the San Francisco Giants in San Francisco Saturday, July 16, 2022. 

Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell walks to the dugout after making a pitching change during the eighth inning against the San Francisco Giants in San Francisco Saturday, July 16, 2022.  (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

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The Brewers fell to 50-42 with the loss. San Francisco improved to 47-43.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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