GIANTS 89-68 ... Magic number: 4.
San Diego 87-70 2 GB Also trail by 1.5 in wild-card race.
Giants defeated Arizona, 4-2.
San Diego lost to Chicago, 5-2.
Colorado lost to LA, 9-7, and were eliminated from contention. They are still alive-- barely-- for the wild-card.
Giants host Arizona, 7:15 PDT (10:15 EDT) at the 'Bell. Tim Lincecum starts on three days' rest. Bruce Bochy is lining up his rotation for the season finale, a possible one-game division playoff, and even the first game of the division series next week. Ian Kennedy opposes.
San Diego hosts Chicago again.
Last Night's Game
Nate Schierholz' pinch-hit single in the sixth broke a 2-2 tie and made a winner out of Jonathan Sanchez, who survived some early wildness and a 2-0 deficit to win his 12th game. Ramon Ramirez pitched a scoreless seventh, and Pat Burrell's RBI single in the bottom of the frame provided some breathing room. After the inevitable righty/lefty two-step in the eighth saw the Diamondbacks put two men on with one out, Brian Wilson was summoned to close it with a five-out save, his 46th. And, with the news from San Diego displayed on the board for all to see, the Giants took a Giant step toward their first division pennant since 2003.
Madison Bumgarner will now start tomorrow (Thursday), getting an extra day of rest. "Boch" clearly has faith in both Lincecum and the bullpen, as Timmy may only go five or six tonight. But if the gambit works, Lincecum would be available to start either Sunday in the finale, or next Monday in the event a 163rd game is required. And he'd have an extra day of rest otherwise before the real playoffs begin... It's not too early to talk about a playoff rotation. Consider the possibility of Zito as the swingman, with Lincecum, Cain, and Sanchez, in that order, as the Big Three... Pablo Sandoval went 2-for-3 last night with a walk (!) and scored the go-ahead run on Schierholz' single... Cincinnati has clinched the NL Central.