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Dodgers News: Did One Blown Call Cost LA the Division?

Perhaps MLB should consider changing its postseason format.

The Dodgers finished the 2021 regular season with a robust record of 106-56. The problem is that the Giants finished their season with a 107-55 record. That's the difference of one game. It took the San Francisco Giants a .660 winning percentage to unseat the Dodgers and their eight consecutive NL West titles. The Dodgers now enter a winner-take-all Wild Card game as the best Wild Card team ever.

The Dodgers record is fantastic for any team, but one but can't help be reminded of their record in one-run games, and other missed opportunities.

Then there's one of the worst missed calls in recent memory.

During a game in July, a blown check-swing call by Ed Hickox looms largely. It would have given the Dodgers a 3-2 win over the Giants and all but created a first-place tie between the Dodgers and Giants. The Giants took the lead after that and the game was over.

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That is a swing, by any definition. 

It also calls to attention the notion that a 106-win team should not be playing in a one-game Wild Card playoff. Perhaps MLB should consider changing its format to avoid good teams going home because of one game. Making it at minimum a best-of-three series would improve the system.

Going back to those missed opportunities, there were plenty. A great team should strive to be better than .500 in one-run games. A first-place team should probably be better than 5-13 in extra-inning games. Going 24-24 in one-run games is a bewildering statistic for a team that won 106 games.

Still, it is a frustrating notion that in 2021 MLB has replay review and constant delays to try and get the game correct, and yet a missed call like that check-swing was blown so egregiously, and at the biggest moment of the game. 

Along with playoff format, MLB should consider fixing blown calls as well.