Saturday, September 17, 2016

NL West W L GB
LA 83 64 - Losing record on road.
GIANTS 79 68 4 Skipping BP seems to pay off.
Wild Card W L GB
GIANTS 79 68 - Face former teammate Leake.
New York 78 69 - Rookie Lugo takes the hill.
St Louis 76 71 2 Eliminated from division race.

Giants defeated St Louis, 8-2.
LA defeated Arizona, 3-2, beating former Dodger Zach Greinke.
New York shut out Minnesota, 3-0.

Giants host St Louis, game three of the series, 6:05 PM PDT (9:05 EDT). Mike Leake, a Giant for about two months last year, opposes Jeff Samardzija. 
LA is at Arizona, while New York hosts Minnesota; both evening starts.

Last Night's Game
Matt Moore's up-and-down night was made considerably easier by a six-run third-inning explosion after Yadier Molina, normally one of the best defensive catchers in the game, threw the ball into center field trying to get the runner at second base on Moore's sacrifice bunt. A two-run single from Buster Posey and a two-run double by Brandon Belt were the ensuing highlights. Posey added a two-run homer the next inning, finishing 3-for-4 with 4 RBI, and the generally stoic Posey was positively giddy after his first blast in two months, mugging for his teammates and the camera in the dugout and even giving way to a case of the giggles. Yes, this team has wooed us several times in recent weeks with evidence of a "breakout" game, only to follow with a face-plant  immediately afterward, but once again we lay the wreath of hope at the door of what looks like a rejuvenated clubhouse. As for Moore, he got a cheap-ish win, pitching the minimum five while allowing ten baserunners, only two of whom scored. 

The Chicago Cubs became the first team to clinch their division last night. They're at 94-53 and on pace to win about 104 games... In the American League, the Orioles and Blue Jays are separating from the rest of the wild-card pack, opening up a three-game lead while remaining tied with each other, two games behind Boston in the East...  The Kansas City Royals have lost five straight, the longest current streak in either direction... The Giants are seventh in the league in runs scored, and fifth in fewest runs allowed. Of their potential playoff opponents, only the Nationals and Cubs are ahead of the Giants in both categories...  Brandon Belt is back up to sixth in the league in OBP at .390. He's also 11th with 35 doubles... Brandon Crawford has nine triples, second in the NL. One more would put him in double figures for doubles, triples, and home runs, which is a rarer feat than you might think... The Cardinals did not lose anyone on the basepaths last night, which is a welcome change: they've been caught stealing 25 times this year against just 32 stolen bases, an appalling ratio that has probably cost them a game or two in the standings... According to the good people at, the Giants' Pythagorean record-- that is, their expected won-loss record based on runs scored and allowed-- is 81-66, two games to the good. Optimists will see this as an indicator the Giants are due to win more than their share of close ones down the stretch, while pessimists will seize on it to prove the Giants have, and likely will continue to, "find a way to lose."  

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