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The Giants’ bullpen struggles finally doomed their season

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MLB: NLDS-Chicago Cubs at San Francisco Giants John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco Giants didn’t just have bullpen issues in 2016. They had historic bullpen issues. So, it was only fitting their season came to an end thanks to another colossal bullpen failure.

San Francisco led the Chicago Cubs, 5-2, heading into the ninth inning. It was less than 24 hours after the Giants blew a ninth-inning lead. The Giants still managed to come away with a win on Monday. Not this time.

The first four Cubs reached base, three of which scored to tie the game. Ben Zobrist came through with the first big hit, doubling to score a run and put the tying runs in scoring position.

Willson Contreras followed with a single back up the middle to tie the game.

Two batters later, Javier Baez put the Cubs ahead for good.

The Giants tried to pull out all the stops, including using five pitchers in the ninth inning. It didn’t work. The Cubs tacked on another run to take a 6-5 lead and Aroldis Chapman closed out the game and the series.

This is a far too familiar ending for the Giants this season.

During the first half of the season, the Giants were the best team in baseball. They could have even been on the path to yet another even-year World Series. The only problem was an Achilles heel of a bullpen. San Fransisco managed to make the playoffs despite the bullpen issues. Eventually it was just too much to continue to overcome.