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The Giants clinched the second National League Wild Card spot on Sunday, courtesy a three-game sweep of the Dodgers. While that’s cause for celebration, it’s also a source of relief: San Francisco had the best record in the majors, both by win total and winning percentage, at the All-Star break. Despite that, due to a horrific second half, it took them until the final day of the season to clinch a playoff berth, and they ended up with the last one available.
Luckily for the Giants, though, they made it, and that’s all that matters. Now their fans won’t have to endlessly relive the memories of a collapse that baseball had never seen before, one where the top team in the majors played so poorly in the second half — and not the mathematical second half, either, since this is baseball we’re talking about — that they missed out on the playoffs entirely. Instead, they made it, and will face the Mets and Noah Syndergaard in New York on Wednesday. The Giants will, of course, have Madison Bumgarner on the mound, who would likely try to start the game even if he had pitched Sunday’s affair.
The Giants making it to meaningful October baseball means that the Cardinals, for the first time since 2010, did not. It’s only the fourth time since 2000 that St. Louis has failed to reach postseason play, and their exit means we won’t have the baseball gods shoving a Giants-Cardinals NLCS down our throats like in 2014 and 2012. Of course, don’t take that to mean that we’re entirely free from even-year BS, as the Cards didn’t make the playoffs in 2010, and that was when all this Giants’ nonsense began. Oh, yeah, you didn’t realize the Giants narrowly avoided a historic disaster and now have to win just one game started by Madison Bumgarner to make everyone forget said near collapse and it just happens to be an even year? Sorry to wake you up like this, but someone had to tell you.
- Here’s the full postseason schedule, with the AL Wild Card Game going down Tuesday night at 8 p.m. ET, the NL version on Wednesday at the same time, and then both ALDSs kick off on Thursday.
- The Francisco Liriano trade doesn’t look any better today than it did when it happened. At least, not for the Pirates.
- The Blue Jays took 2-of-3 from the Red Sox while the Tigers lost their last two games of the season, giving Toronto the final Wild Card in the AL.
- The Tigers’ 2016 was a wild ride, one with too many injuries to make them the threat they could have been.
- The Giants were pretty rude to the Dodgers this weekend as far as wins and losses go, but they did have a touching tribute for the retiring Vin Scully.
- Tommy Hunter dropped a pair of F-bombs on the MASN broadcast, so you know it’s playoff time.
- There was little reason to believe rookie manager Robin Ventura was going to work out when the White Sox hired him, and he didn’t.
- There are rumors of a transition from Ventura to former Cubs’ manager Rick Renteria — you know, the guy the Cubs forced out of the role the second Joe Maddon was available — and South Side Sox has some early thoughts on the potential move.
- The Red Sox aren’t wasting any time, and have already announced that David Ortiz’s No. 34 will be retired. Of course, the Sox and Ortiz have a date with the Indians in the ALDS before that can happen.