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The Phillies pulled off an extra-innings win over the Dodgers on Friday night, but they got some help from the home plate umpire in the process.
After Bryce Harper hit a home run to tie the game at eight runs apiece in the eighth inning, Philadelphia scored two runs in the top of the tenth inning, giving them a 10-8 lead.
With Francisco Morales on the mound, the right-handed reliever got the benefit of a tough strike call against Dodgers slugger Trea Turner. Los Angeles had two runners and with two outs, and one of the best hitters in the National League at the plate.
The strike call — which came on a ball clearly outside the zone — altered the entire at-bat. Rather than being ahead in the count, 2-1, Turner was one strike away from making the final out of the game.
Turner would ground into a force out to end the game.
Phillies get benefit of bad strike call against Dodgers
Over the course of a season, calls like these tend to even out. Yet, when it directly leads to a Los Angeles defeat just a few pitches later, it tends to sting a little more.
The Dodgers lost out to the San Francisco Giants by one game in last season’s NL West race. Moments like these can have a profound impact come season’s end, even if a Friday night game in May doesn’t hold the same level of importance as a divisional matchup in October on paper.