Giants Stave Off Elimination; Dodgers on the Brink
October 10, 2016

It's late. We'll keep it short, and ponder for another week how Bruce Bochy and his San Francisco Giants do it. The Giants just beat the Cubs 6-5 in 13 innings to stay alive in the post-season, but still trail the Chicago Cubs two games to one.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers, after winning the first game against the Washington Nationals, dropped the next two, and find themselves down 2-1 in their series. The Dodgers may come back with their ace Clayton Kershaw in Tuesday's game four, or go with 20-year old rookie Julio Urias. Urias is the likely choice since the Dodgers have to win two in a row anyway to advance, with Kershaw to go in game five.

For the Giants, they are now 10-0 in playoff games when facing elimination under current manager Bruce Bochy. His bullpen blew a save chance, but Conor Gilaspie tripled in the eighth inning, and Joe Panik won it with a double in the thirteenth. The Giants, winners of the World Series in 2010, 2012, and 2014, are still, somehow, still alive in 2016. Stay tuned.

Papi exits: Tonight's Cleveland Indians 4-3 win over the Boston Red Sox means a sweep of the series, and the end of the career of Boston's David Ortiz. “Big Papi” walked in his final plate appearance, and after reaching second as the potential tying run, was lifted for a pinch-runner. Ortiz played 20 seasons in the big leagues, 14 of them in Boston, had 524 home runs, 2472 hits, and 1768 RBIs. Before playing for the Red Sox, Ortiz spent six seasons with the Minnesota Twins and batted .266 (.290 with Boston). I remember going to minor league games in Salt Lake City (once a Twins affiliate), and people there told me what a horrible hitter Ortiz was in the minors. He sure straightened it out in Beantown, and five years from now should be in Cooperstown.

Bully pulpit: Getting to do play-by-play for only two postseason games a year, MLB's Bob Costas took the opportunity to climb up on his soap box to pitch a modification to the playoff system. While it does seem that an inordinate number of wild card teams move past the first round, Costas advocated shortening the regular season to 158 games, and expanding the Division Series to a best of seven. A best of seven will probably happen someday, but a shorter schedule seems stupid. He did have an interesting idea of the wild card team having to play the last three games of a best-of-seven on the road, but the wild card team is already at a disadvantage by having the one-game play-in against the other wild card team.

The trade that wasn't: Former major league general manager Jim Bowden, who is doing color commentary for ESPN Radio during rhe Dodgers-Nationals series, reports that Washington had offered the Dodgers pitcher Stephen Strasburg even up for LA shortstop Corey Seager, who was then in the minor leagues. An oft-injured but effective-when-healthy pitcher for a possible superstar. Bowden didn't reveal his sources, of course, but said both sides confirmed the story.

Happy Birthday to my Uncle Marty. He turned 87 yesterday. Love you!!

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